Home cooks, chefs, baristas, and bartenders among other professionals in the food and drink industry know the importance of food-grade nitrous oxide gas (N2O).
Not to mention that the gas is quite popular in the dentist’s office.
In the food and drink industry, N2O gas is used to create delicious whipped cream for topping desserts like chocolate mousse, pie, cake, and coffee among other things. Nitrous oxide gas has also been a popular option for creating cocktails like pina colada.
Although people are used to 8g cream chargers, the popularity of food-grade nitrous oxide tank has been increasing. Keep on reading to find out why the 580g N2O tanks are a better option.
What is Food-Grade Nitrous Oxide (N2O)?
Nitrous oxide or what we commonly refer to as laughing gas is a non-flammable, colorless gas that has a sweetish, pleasant taste and odor. This is not a naturally occurring gas but a manufactured one.
The process of making the gas involves joining one oxygen atom with two nitrogen atoms through a chemical bonding method to create a nitrous oxide molecule. The gas is usually stored in a pressurized liquid state in gas canisters and tanks.
When the gas is ejected out of the cylinder it expands into nitrous oxide. Direct contact with the N2O when it is being ejected from a canister can cause serious freeze burns.
Food Grade Vs Medical Grade Nitrous Oxide
As we mentioned earlier, nitrous oxide is a non-flammable, colorless gas with a sweet as well as pleasant taste and odor. Both food-grade and medical-grade nitrous oxide have the same molecular structure, which includes one part oxygen atom and two parts nitrogen atoms.
What are the Main Differences Between Food and Medical Grade Nitrous Oxide?
These are the main differences:
- Food-grade nitrous oxide is manufactured for use in the food and drink industry, whereas medical-grade nitrous oxide is produced for use in the medical industry.
- Food-grade nitrous oxide is available in small tanks of up to 0.95 liters, whereas medical-grade nitrous oxide is sold in larger tanks of up to 18,000 liters.
- Food-grade nitrous oxide is used to create whipped cream, desserts, and cocktails among other food items, whereas medical-grade nitrous oxide is used by dentists to reduce patient anxiety, reduce gagging reflexes, slightly improve pain tolerance, and allow the patient to remain conscious while the procedure is ongoing.
- A food-grade nitrous oxide tank can be legally acquired for use in the food industry, whereas a medical-grade nitrous oxide tank isn’t legally available for use in the food industry.
Top 3 Suppliers of Food Grade N2O
Here are our top 5 suppliers of food-grade nitrous oxide tanks:
This is one of the best cream charger brands in China. The brand boasts over a decade of experience in designing, manufacturing, and supplying whipped cream chargers and dispensers.
This great company manufactures cream chargers with different flavors, including strawberry, banana, mint, blueberry, and watermelon. GreatWhip chargers are available in 580g tank and 8g cartridges. You can buy a single food-grade nitrous oxide tank or you can buy a pack of 6 tanks.
The brand manufactures a proprietary pressure regulator that allows you to use the tank with your standard 8g whipped cream dispenser.
Cream Deluxe N2O Tank. Source: globalsources.com
This is a determined start-up company that provides innovative and easy-to-use solutions for the food industry.
The brand’s main focus is to help you have the best experience in the kitchen when creating delicious whipped cream, desserts, and cocktails. But what is most admirable about this company is its production of culinary-grade N2O tanks. Its 580g cream chargers help ease the job of professional caterers, chefs, and baristas.
The N2O tank from this brand complies with all European laws as well as regulations. Not to mention that each tank is tested at 165 bar.
Smartwhip N2O Tank. Source: alibaba.com
This company has been manufacturing culinary-grade nitrous oxide canisters since 2019. For the last few years, the company has improved its quality substantially.
Widely used in food service applications like creating whipped cream, desserts, and cocktails, the brand uses high-tech manufacturing for a high-quality, reliable product. The Smartwhip food-grade nitrous oxide tank is made of high-quality materials.
So, you never have to worry about leaking tanks. The tanks are recyclable, which is great because it makes it easier to dispose of them without littering the environment.
What are the Uses of Food Grade Nitrous Oxide?
Culinary-grade nitrous oxide has several uses, which include:Creating Whipped Cream
Whipped Cream. Source: amindfullmom.com
The main use of food-grade nitrous oxide is creating whipped cream using a whipped cream dispenser. Nitrous oxide is introduced into a cream whipper through a piercing pin on the head of the dispenser.
Culinary-grade N2O reacts with the stabilizing agents in the liquid whipping cream to create a foamy texture. When you press the cream whipper lever, the mixture of the cream and N2O comes out like whipped cream. You can use different types of nozzles or tips to create your preferred patterns when topping desserts or drinks.
Alcoholic Cocktail. Source: meilleurduchef.com
Food-grade nitrous oxide is a very popular ingredient in mixology, especially when creating a mind-blowing alcoholic cocktail.
You don’t have to put up with traditional mixology methods when making espumas and foam. Using a shaker to shake egg whites can be quite a challenging job. Not to mention that foam made of egg whites is normally flavorless. But with nitrous oxide, you get the ideal panache, aroma, and zing.
Whipped Mousse. Source: chocolatechocolateandmore.com
This is one of the most delicious desserts you can make using culinary-grade N2O. Nitrous oxide introduces air bubbles into the ingredients, creating an airy and light texture.
The best thing about whipped mousse is that you can decide on your preferred consistency, such as creamy and thick or light and fluffy. Not to mention that the dessert can be savory or sweet, depending on your taste and preference. A sweet mousse can be spiced with vanilla, mint, puree fruits, or chocolate.
You can use food-grade nitrous oxide to infuse marinades, syrups, sauces, and alcohol with a specific taste of your liking.
N2O in Balloons. Source: irishtimes.com
Food-grade nitrous oxide has a sweetish, pleasant taste and odor, making it a popular drug among youths. The gas is inhaled from a balloon and not directly from an N2O cylinder.
How the N2O gas works after being inhaled vary from one person to another. The gas will make you feel relaxed and happy. But it can also make you feel dizzy, paranoid, anxious, sound distortions, and giggly. When abused the gas can be life-threatening, though.
Have you ever imagined that nitrous oxide is used in spacecraft? It is used as an oxidizer in hybrid rocket engines.
Nitrous oxide is highly stable at room temperature, which is great because it makes storage easier and safer on a flight. N2O improves the safety as well as simplicity of hybrid engines as opposed to fluid-bipropellant engines.
Nitrous oxide is also used with internal combustion engines to boost the performance of race cars. When N2O is injected into an internal combustion engine, the combustion process breaks the chemical bond of the additional nitrogen atoms.
This develops a prompt increase of oxygen levels inside the engine. The extra oxygen boosts the burning of fuel. This helps push the pistons down more forcefully, generating more power for explosive speeds.
How to Use a Food Grade N2O Tank
A food-grade nitrous oxide cylinder is usually used with a whipped cream dispenser. But here is the thing, the tank is not directly compatible with a standard cream whipper.
There are three things you need to be able to use an N2O tank with a cream whipper, which includes a pressure regulator, a filling hose, and an adaptor. A pressure regulator is ideal for controlling the amount of N2O that you are injecting into your whipped cream dispenser. The adaptor, however, has to fit perfectly with the head of your whipped cream dispenser.
Follow these steps when using an N2O tank with a cream whipper:
- Prepare your ingredients and pour them into your whipped cream dispenser
- Screw back the head of your dispenser
- Connect the pressure regulator to your food-grade N2O cylinder
- Connect the adaptor to the piercing pin on your cream whipper head
- Slowly release your desired amount of pressure into the dispenser
Q1. Is it illegal to buy a tank of culinary-grade N2O?
It isn’t illegal to buy a 580-gram tank of food-grade nitrous oxide. You can buy a single tank or a pack of up to 6 tanks.
An N2O tank is specifically designed for use in food items. But it is considered illegal to misuse a tank of nitrous oxide recreationally. You might be deprived of oxygen and even endanger your life. Not to mention that you can suffer freeze burns.
Q2. Can I buy food-grade N2O tanks online?
Yes, you can buy a tank or tanks of nitrous oxide online. Some popular brands you can consider buying online include GreatWhip and Smartwhip.
Q3. Can food-grade N2O tanks be used recreationally?
It is not recommended to use an N2O tank recreationally because you could easily burn yourself with the pressurized gas.
It is quite easy to fill a balloon with excess gas when using a tank, which could expose you to a larger dose of nitrous oxide. Recreational use of an N2O tank could lead to fatigue, excessive sweating, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, shivering, difficulty breathing, wheezing, hives, chills, and fever.
Q4. What are the side effects of nitrous oxide?
There’s no safe level when inhaling nitrous oxide. The use of any form of drug that makes you high carries a risk. So, it is extremely important to take precautions if you choose to use N2O recreationally. You must always be in a seated position and only inhale from a balloon.
Severe effects of inhaling nitrous oxide include depletion of vitamin B12, memory loss, numbness in the feet or hands, buzzing or ringing in the ears, limb spasms, weakened immune system, depression, and psychological dependence.
Q5. Are 580g N2O tanks recyclable?
The best brands use recyclable steel, which is a good thing because you can drop your empty tanks at the nearest recycling firm.
Food-grade nitrous oxide tanks are the best option for businesses and large volume use at parties and gatherings. They are highly economical when compared to 8g cream chargers. With an N2O tank, you can easily control the amount of gas that goes into your cream whipper. A tank is much easier to use because you will only connect it once unlike the small cartridges that will need you to screw and unscrew the charger holder whenever you want to increase the amount of N2O in your cream whipper.