Food grade vs Non food grade Co2 cartridges

Updated 17/01/2024

If you have been looking online to purchase Co2 cartridges for liquid carbonation, You may have noticed some are listed as “Food grade” & others are not. It’s important to know the difference between these two types of the same product and their usage before deciding to make a purchase. In this blog post we will be sharing with you all that you need to know about food grade & non food grade Co2 cartridges.

How the actual Co2 is made & how the cartridge that stores the Co2 is manufactured defines what is considered to be food grade Co2.

There are two methods for quality control and grading. The first is by selecting the ultimate source gas. For example, if CO2 is required for beverage production, it will be obtained from an ethanol plant. The CO2 plant is located on the same property as the ethanol production facility and pipes the raw product, which is essentially a by-product of ethanol manufacturing.

The CO2 is refined to a desired grade, which includes the removal of moisture as well as the expected ethanol plant pollutants. It’s then liquefied to make storage and transit easier. The CO2 production stream is regularly sampled to ensure that it is within specification. CO2 plants manufacture goods to satisfy the needs of the largest clients, hence any plant producing CO2 for beverage applications using a cartridge system produces products to meet the end user’s specifications.

the second, for non food grade Co2 this is not the case. As the usage of non food grade Co2 is usually not for any type of human consumption, such as inflating a bike tire or powering an airsoft device. purity isn’t of any importance. Non food grade Co2 can be captured from exhaust or chemical fumes and potentially contain carcinogens or unsafe chemicals which you wouldn’t really want in your beverages but otherwise wouldn’t be harmful for non food use applications.

Cartridge manufacturing

How the Co2 Cartridge is manufactured is also another factor whether a cartridge is food grade vs not food grade.

For non food grade cartridges, Lower cost Oils & Chemicals can be used when manufacturing the cartridge with a lower priority of cleaning the canister after the shape has been formed. Leaving Oil, Chemicals and leftover pieces of metal swarf in the charger.

Food grade Co2 cartridges are fully cleaned out using more expensive and safe Chemicals & Oils with the metal swarf are completely cleaned out leaving no Oil residue or metal swarf before filling with Co2.

In case you were wondering how Co2 cartridges are made here is a video:

Food grade vs beverage grade Co2

Food grade Co2 & Beverage grade Co2 are both the same thing. Both cartridges will contain 99.9% pure Co2 for use within food & drink.


If you are needing Co2 for food & drink usage make sure the cartridge is “food grade”. If the product listing doesn’t mention food grade then the cartridge could leave strong chemical after tastes in your final product as well as small sharp pieces of metal swarf leftover from manufacturing.

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