If you’ve done any amount of research on vacuum sealing, you’ve probably ran across and article or two that mentions the use of oxygen absorbers when vacuum packing. Individuals who have been vacuum sealing and packing for a while, more than likely already know about oxygen absorbers.
These are made of various materials based on what they will be used for, so when using them for food storage, make sure you purchase the proper ones that are ideal for that purpose. The information below will give you some general insight into how they work.
What Is an Oxygen Absorber
Oxygen absorbers are small packets of a powdered iron substance that allow oxygen and moisture to enter but prevent the iron powder from coming out. They are typically added to vacuum packed foods to prolong shelf life and keep them at the ultimate freshness. The presence of oxygen and moisture will decrease shelf life and make food spoil more quickly, Oxygen absorbers help absorb that oxygen and any moisture in the foods or containers. This helps foods remain preserved more efficiently, and it will offer longer shelf life for your canned and vacuum packed food items.
Oxygen absorbers are needed when sealing dry (dehydrated) foods and other foods for extended storage.
What’s The Benefits
- They help foods, such as nuts, to retain flavor.
- They help preserve vitamins and nutrients in foods and preserve natural colors.
- They reduce oxygen levels in sealed containers.
- They can extend the life of oral vitamins and medications when you vacuum pack your meds. Many pharmaceutical companies and drug stores pack medicines with oxygen absorbers.
- They help prevent mold on dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, etc.
- They help prevent mold on fruits and vegetables.
These absorbers have an expiration date, so pay attention to that when purchasing them, and only purchase a quantity that will be used before the product expires.
Don’t leave the package open for too long, because you don’t want them absorbing oxygen before use. You’ll want to preserve them for your sealed foods. Seal the unused oxygen absorbers immediately to preserve their quality. Limit their exposure to the air, and never store them in a bag with oxygen, because they will absorb the oxygen and can become ineffective when you need to use them in your vacuum packed foods.
Resealing Unused Packets
What Should Be Packed with an Oxygen Absorber
You should use one of these absorbents when packing dry or dehydrated foods such as nuts and other snacks, pastas (dry and precooked), candies, dry fruits and veggies and pastries (cakes, cookies, bread, etc.).
Other foods that can be packed with absorbers include dairy products, smoked meats, spices, flour and sugar.
Many of these items, especially when sold in bulk, are stored with absorbers.
They are not expensive, and they are a great way to save your investment. A small investment can make a big difference in the long term quality of foods and other items stored properly.
They are safe to place on your foods, as they come in a food-safe pouch. They can be purchased from almost any local store that sells vacuum sealers or accessories. They can also be purchased from Amazon, where you will find competitive deals.
Use them for better food storage and preservation of foods when canning, and when storing dried foods, snacks and even meats.