Fusebox EPFL

One of the most abundant elements on the planet, nitrogen.

We use nitrogen, to slow the decay process, it is used to persevere documents; bacteria do not grow well in a nitrogen rich environment. We can process nitrogen from the atmosphere and use it in the transport of our foods, in some cases, even replace of refrigeration. This is a cheap way of storage and it could possibly keep our food supply fresh for much longer periods. 



Andreas Baumann Mar 5, 2014

Great thought. Which food would you store in such a nitrogen atmosphere packing. What is the ideal packaging size? Where in the value chain you see the biggest potential for the application?

Andreas Bruun Mar 5, 2014

This technique is already used in storage of for example apples (or grain). There the microbial activity gets effectively reduced with a warm water treatment. The modified atmosphere then helps (among other things) to eliminate ethylene, which would induce the maturation process of the apple.

This idea has certainly a big potential for vegetables. Wax layers get applied on a lot of fruits or they get a nice bath in a fungicide- cocktail (which is cheap). Those practices can’t be used for vegetables, since a lot are eaten raw or don’t have to be pealed like an orange or banana for example. The Idea of modified atmospheric packing is therefore very interesting for vegetables.  It would be cool if one good actually lengthen the shelf life of such wrapped products. 

However since the idea is not new, there is already some research material available. It appears that the packaging technology have to meet some new challenges, like the permeability etc. of the used material.

Check out the following full article: 


Of corse this technique can (and most likely is) used in the packing of processed food like sandwiches, pizzas, etc..

In conclusion: The packaging technology would definitely be innovative. If the cost of the packing is in relation to the price of the product, it would be used all over the world tomorrow.