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How does Oxygen Absorbers work?
Fundamentally, oxygen absorbers are effective, modest, and helpful strategies for preserving a wide range of food products with the least changes in fragrance or other negative outcomes, making them an indispensable part of all large food stores. Let us look at how precisely these little marvels can secure your food! It is an unpalatable, tiny packet that can make all the difference to the survival of your stored food.
Why do we need to evacuate oxygen?
Before discussing how the oxygen absorber functions, let's look at how oxygen affects your food and its quality: for example, the oxygen absorber prevents mold, discolouration, and rancidification in wheat. Foods like spices, meats, grains, and nuts are prone to turn rancid in oxygen. Trapped oxygen inside food packets causes spoilage of fats, oils, and other similar compounds, leading to a bad odour associated with those decayed food items.
It prevents the development of mold in highly prone food items.
Even though very few molds are anaerobic (can endure even without oxygen), most need some oxygen while they are in the growth stage. Oxygen absorbers can't eliminate all the oxygen (at one point, there would be a small amount of oxygen that is minuscule to react with the packet), but they can eliminate a significant part that can further lead to the development of mold in large numbers. It diminishes the chances that those toxic moulds stand to ruin your stocks.
Oxidized foods lead to the development of odd tastes.
Oxygen reacts with the food in varying ways often, by destroying and staining the food and turning it horrible while it is chemically sound for eating (whereas such components won't cause any harm if somebody eats it but it is still not recommended that such food should be eaten). With oxygen absorbers trapping the available oxygen and moisture inside the packet, food looks new as it is just packed and tastes better.
Even vitamins in the food can get oxidized.
Nutrient oxidation will bring about a few issues, yet one of the significant worries for any store is a loss in its nutritional values. Food that is newly packed in an oxygen-rich environment would lose dietary benefits somewhat because oxygen causes the degradation of vitamins. Among all the vitamins, Vitamin E, A, and C are the ones that can react easily with oxygen. Hence, it is clear that foods fortified with these vitamins would benefit from using oxygen absorbers inside the package as it helps create an environment devoid of oxygen, leaving Nitrogen in plenty, which enhances the shelf life of the food product.
Add Oxygen Absorber
You must wonder how a small packet of oxygen absorbers can absorb all the oxygen in the package? Then, Read On to Know More! The key to the average oxygen retaining package (like these) is a chemical reaction between sodium/iron in the packet and the dampness in the surrounding air. Plastic packets permit the entry of moisture. Sodium and humidity allow iron in the packet to get rusted, leading to the formation of iron oxide. As soon as this oxidation happens, the packet quickly empties the trapped oxygen of the container. However, a more viable or bigger packet is intended for containing metal rust. Hence oxygen gets removed without affecting the food. Other major air components such as Argon and Nitrogen are left with different elements present in trace amounts. These components generally don't react with food, further leading to enhancement in the shelf life.
Additional methods for improving the viability of oxygen absorbers from the outset guarantee that you are utilizing a safeguard appraised appropriately for the size of the compartment, just like the sort of food that you will use. Foods in powdered form leave very little space inside the container for concealing oxygen and hence, utilize small packets of oxygen absorber. As a general rule, metal and glass containers are much more effective for storing food for longer durations, whereas some plastics are permeable to the entry of oxygen.
Now, it has changed to a solid structure, which signifies that it has utilized its maximum potential. Now that we know why it should be used and where it should be used, we must understand how it should be used, and the most important aspect is to limit the exposure of oxygen absorbers to the surrounding air before adding it to the container, as it starts functioning the moment it comes in contact with the air and becomes less effective as an oxygen absorber. Remember to replace the packets with fresh packets when it starts to feel as opposed to their powdered form when added to the container. These little scavengers help keep your food fresh and nutritious while stockpiled in storage areas or supermarkets.
Oxygen absorber little packages are packed with iron powder. The iron absorbs 99% of the oxygen that is available inside the sealed environment. Other atmospheric gases are inert and don't cause oxidation of the food.
Oxygen absorber sachets start absorbing oxygen as soon as they are taken out from the sealed container leading to the formation of iron oxide as a result of oxidation. The right quantity of oxygen absorbers sachets effectively brings the oxygen level down to 0.01% or less.
Why Should We Use Oxygen Absorbers?
If you are looking for something that keeps the food dehydrated and enhances its shelf life, then use oxygen absorbers as they effectively bring down the oxygen level to 0.01% inside the sealed environment. It can also be used for dried foods to enhance their shelf life further. Also, it helps you preserve your food without causing any reaction or adding additives, which means it doesn't compromise the nutritional value of the food.
These oxygen absorbers effectively absorb the moisture, which is as much as 3 times its weight, and protect the food products against the adverse changes that may occur in the presence of oxygen and moisture, such as the growth of mold, mildew, degradation of colour, and quality as moisture acts as a catalyst for speeding the oxidative degradation which further leads to worsening of the factors contributing to the degradation.
Now that we know it's easy to use, one should always be careful. It starts absorbing oxygen as soon as it comes into contact with the surrounding air; hence, it must be added immediately to the container prepared with food.
How To Use Oxygen Absorbers?
The type of food and the container will help you determine how many packets of oxygen absorber you'll require based on the content of oxygen that can be effectively brought down to 0.01% or less.
Oxygen absorbers contain Iron Powder, Bentonite, Activated Charcoal, Sodium Chloride, Resin, and Water. These components make a perfect adsorbing base that adsorbs the oxygen and moisture that somehow enters while packaging the product. Oxysorb for food storage is effective against deterioration caused by oxygen while in storage.
When oxygen absorbers get solidified, that's the sign that all the iron powder has been oxidized, and it's time to replace the used packets with the new packets of oxygen absorbers. Oxygen Absorber is available in 50cc, 100cc, 300cc, 500cc, 1000cc, and 2000cc packets. Also, these packets can be used in combination to cover the volume. Once you have determined the number of packets, food, and the type of container, you can begin with the steps below.
Step 1: Prepare your container and food.
Containers that you will use should be clean and dry before adding the food, and they should be closed immediately.
Step 2: Keep the Oxygen Absorbers inside a sealed container
Oxygen absorbers start absorbing oxygen as soon as it comes in contact with air, so keep them packed inside a mason jar and add them immediately when your container is prepared and close the lid.
Step 3: Seal the container and label it with the date for your reference
Containers For Oxygen Absorbers
When choosing containers compatible with oxygen absorbers, mylar bags, mason jars, and large plastic containers are the best-recommended containers. Generally, a mason jar is preferred to preserve a small amount of food, and a mylar bag/large plastic container is used to store a large amount of food.
Foods That Must Be Preserved With Oxygen Absorbers:
Foods containing 10% moisture or less can be preserved with oxygen absorbers. Those with moisture and oil content above the permissible limit can be botulism poisoning when stored with oxygen absorbers.
• Natural cheese and other dairy products
• Prevents fruits and vegetables from browning due to non-enzymatic process
• Inhibits oxidation and buildup of red colour in most berries and sauces
• Bread, cookies, cakes, pastries
• Nuts and snacks
• Candies and confectioneries
• Whole fat dry foods
• Spices and seasonings
• Flour and grain items
• Fresh and precooked pasta and noodles
One Should Be Careful Of The Following Points While Using Oxygen Absorbers:
Oxygen absorbers are often misunderstood for silica gel made of silicon dioxide. It is one of the widely used desiccants in many products like shoes, leather purses, electronics, pharmaceuticals etc. It helps in preserving the goods against the adverse effects of moisture.
Ensure the oxygen absorber packets are least exposed to the surrounding air before adding to the container because it starts functioning soon after coming in contact with the air.
Replace the old packets with new oxysorb packets when they become solidified instead of a powdered form when added to the container.
What are Oxygen Absorbers/Scavengers?
Oxygen absorbers have wide usage in the food and beverage industry where it is employed to remove excess oxygen from food packages. The presence of oxygen in packages/containers holding food items does not bode well for the latter. This is due to the following reasons:
1) When exposed to oxygen over a period of time, food products turn stale and therefore, inedible.
2) Oxygen provides the perfect environment for the growth of micro-organisms like fungi, bacteria, which are harmful for the packed items.
It is thus to remove an excess amount of oxygen from closed spaces that companies make wide use of oxygen absorbers. The oxygen absorber or scavenger (as it is sometimes known as) will suck in all the extra oxygen present in the atmosphere thus leaving behind nitrogen, which is conducive for the long shelf life of products.
The functioning of the oxygen absorber is explained as follows: The oxygen absorber sachet contains iron particles, which will react with the absorbed oxygen to form iron oxide. Ideally, one needs at least 65% relative humidity in the atmosphere for the oxidation process to begin. As the oxidation process continues, all the oxygen in the packages will be removed and come down to below 0.01%. When all the oxygen has been taken in, the sachet gets “saturated” and will not be able to take in any more oxygen.
Iron is mostly used in oxygen scavengers because of many reasons. Firstly, it does not react with the packed food items. Secondly, it does not release odor like sulfur or aluminum compounds.
Now that one has decided to use oxygen absorbers, they must also know the proper way of using the absorbent. First, one must keep all the jars/vacuum sealing bags in the table. Next, with the help of gloves place all the food items, which are to be preserved, in the jars and vacuum bags. The usage of gloves is recommended as it protects the food items against the ill-effects of moisture and oils.
After all the food items are placed in the containers, open the bag of absorbers and place one as fast as possible into the jars. The jar lids must be kept nearby so that as soon as the oxygen absorbers are placed one can seal the jars/containers. This is important as it will prevent any outside air from getting inside the container. Please note: Keep the unused oxygen absorber sachets sealed for further use.
If you have babies at home, you must be keeping baby food to feed them from time to time. It is very important that baby food is kept fresh and unspoiled at all times because you don’t know when the food will be required. If it gets spoilt then it will cause great discomfort to the baby and parents as the former will be hungry for a long period of time. If one is at home there is some relief because you can feed the baby something else. The difficulty of not having fresh baby food occurs when one is traveling and is only carrying baby food. This is when the role of oxygen absorbers becomes essential as just a few sachets of oxygen absorbers would have kept the baby food fresh for hours.
Oxygen Absorbers are mainly used to maintain optimum oxygen levels in the atmosphere. They are mostly used while storing and transporting things like food items, pharmaceuticals, drugs among others. Oxygen absorbers are highly needed for storing food like bakery items, dairy products, and baby food. Baby puree storage using Oxygen absorbers is always a good idea. The oxygen absorbers ensure that only the safest baby food is made available to your baby.
Oxygen absorbers are made of iron powder or ferrous oxide, which will absorb all the oxygen from the surroundings. When oxygen absorbers are placed alongside baby food, they will absorb the oxygen, thus leaving behind nitrogen, which is conducive to the long life of baby food. The main constituent of oxygen absorbers is iron, which will react with the incoming oxygen to form a ferrous oxide. This process will continue till all the oxygen has been absorbed and then the oxygen absorber becomes “saturated”.
Oxygen absorbers usually come in small sachets and are generally sold in food-safe, BPA-free pouches. These pouches are perfectly okay for baby food as they are non-toxic and will not react with the food items stored inside. Also Check this Article: Five Benefits of Using Oxygen Absorbers in Food Storage.
While some people recommend freezing baby food to keep it fresh and usable, that may not be a good idea in the long run. Keeping baby food in the freezer helps for short periods of time and if it needs to be given immediately to the infant. However, if it needs to be kept unspoiled for longer hours then the safest option is to place oxygen absorbers alongside the baby food. Then you can have the safest baby food for the longest time possible.
The biggest advantage of using oxygen absorbers is that it always follows baby food storage guidelines and in the process keeps parents assured and tension-free. Baby food storage guidelines are of utmost importance as they ensure the baby food is stored in the best manner possible. This goes a long way in providing top-quality baby food to infants, which aids their growth in the proper manner.
Baby food storage guidelines are of utmost importance as they ensure the baby food is stored in the best manner possible. This goes a long way in providing top-quality baby food to infants, which aids their growth in the proper manner.
Baby food storage guidelines are of utmost importance as they ensure the baby food is stored in the best manner possible. This goes a long way in providing top-quality baby food to infants, which aids their growth in the proper manner.
If one is opting for oxygen absorbers for baby food storage, the former goes a long way in keeping mold and aerobic pathogens away from baby food. If the baby food is freshly prepared and there is the growth of mold and aerobic organisms in it, it will become stale and thus cannot be given to the baby. So for the health of the baby, one must always consider baby food storage using oxygen absorbers.
Placing baby food items in storage alongside oxygen absorber sachets will also ensure that no pests will harm the baby food. Oxygen absorbers, as one knows, removes all the oxygen from the atmosphere. This oxygen-less environment is not beneficial for the growth of eggs and larva so the pests are not able to grow. Thus in this manner, oxygen absorbers keep baby food intact for longer periods of time.
Not many people are aware of it, but oxygen absorbers for baby food storage go a long way in keeping moisture away from the latter. The oxidation process changes the iron oxide into rust. When this process is going on then it also absorbs the moisture, sodium and activated carbon or charcoal. All these factors are responsible for the growth of micro-organisms. Once they are removed, the baby food will be fresh for days together.
One of the most common methods used in the food processing industry is the dehydration of the food. The entire process of dehydration works in a certain way that moisture is completely taken out of the food source in order to extend the shelf life of the food and infesting it with microorganisms.
Known to be one of the most popular and old methods which were used in the preservation of food, the dehydration business has been going on for a very long time. Starting from North American Indians who used dehydration for sun-drying their meat products to the Chinese dried eggs, now the entire industry of food processing has dedicated a major share of their resources for the dehydration of foods and different beverages.
Mostly meat products and dairy products go through the entire process of dehydration to ensure that their shelf life is extended. For example, beef jerky is one of the most common items that are created in the food processing industry with the help of dehydration. Several methods are used in order to increase the beef jerky shelf life.
This article will discuss briefly the creation and storage of beef jerky using oxygen absorber bulk. This post will let you know how long does dehydrated beef jerky lasts and how to dehydrate meat for long-term storage.
The oxygen absorbers bulk is the sachets that are used by many food processing units in order to keep air, oxygen, and moisture away from the beef jerky. But do oxygen absorbers absorb moisture? Well, read on ahead to find out more.
Ever since the existence of dehydration processes in the food and beverage industry, people have been fascinated by the creation of beef jerky. To extract the entire moisture out of the meat to make it last for a long time is something that can help in extending the shelf life of the meat. This is one of the main reasons why meat processing factories are all focusing on the production and import/export of beef jerky and other dehydrated meat products.
However, doing that isn’t that simple. There are certain issues that can crop up when it comes to the production of beef jerky and the extension of its shelf life. For example, one of the most common issues for the shelf life of beef jerky would have to be moisture. You see, after the completion of the dehydration processes, it is imperative that the beef jerky is stored in a sealed environment so that it stays away from moisture. After all, it is the lack of moisture that allows the microorganisms to grow and create beef jerky. Very often, it happens that moisture might find its way back to the beef jerky and as a result, it might not be suitable for import/export.
The answer to that question would have to be yes. The question here is whether the beef jerky is home-made or store-bought. The beef jerky that is bought from the stores will be able to last for a period of about 2 years if the container remains unopened. However, home-made beef jerky doesn’t last that long.
The factors that are responsible for the lasting of the beef jerky are mentioned below.
Since beef jerky tends to be a lean and thin cut piece of meat, there is literally no fat amount in it. So, the beef jerky lasts for a longer duration of time.
One of the main factors for bacterial growth is moisture. Beef jerky is created in an environment with no moisture and hence is able to extend the shelf life of the product.
Beef jerky has got a salty taste, to begin with. This is because it is treated and cured with the help of salt. The process of salt curing helps in preserving the beef jerky so that it can last for a very long time.
One of the main questions revolving around the storage of beef jerky is that how long does dried meat last? Well, the contamination, storage factors, moisture, ingredients, and the time period are all factors that decide the shelf life of beef jerky.
The product packaging has the expiration date so that you can check it out before you buy the beef jerky.
Now how to tell if beef jerky has gone bad? Well, there are some methods that you can use for checking the spoilage if the package doesn’t mention the expiry date clearly.
Checking for signs of moisture is one of the ways to see if the beef jerky has gone bad. If there is the formation of water droplets, then there are chances that the beef jerky has gone bad. Also, you can check by pressing every single piece to see if there is any softness. If there is, then the beef jerky is probably bad and it is a sign of bacterial growth. Also, unnatural odors are a great sign for checking the spoilage too.
It is essential to know how to store beef jerky if you want to extend the shelf life of the product. There are different beef jerky packaging requirements that need to be followed for proper storage of the product. Here are some of the steps that you need to follow.
Retaining the same quality of the beef jerky can be done by sealing it in an airtight container. Most people would recommend the use of oxygen absorber sachets which can help in preserving by not allowing oxygen to enter the beef jerky.
Water in the beef jerky will make it go bad very soon. You need to make sure that it stays dry for the retaining of the shelf life. Using oxygen absorbers, the moisture content can also be eliminated from the product.
Most of the time, over sweating the beef jerky spoils the quality of the product. So, storing your beef jerky in a particularly cool temperature will be a good idea. Try freezing the jerky before you store it in the 50cc oxygen absorbers.
Here are some tips and tricks that you can use in order to retain and maximize the shelf life of your beef jerky.
Allow the beef jerky to cool down for some time before you store it in the oxygen absorbers 300cc
Storing the beef jerky in a particular paper bag will allow it to remove all traces of moisture from the product.
Using oxygen absorbers can also be a great way of maximizing the shelf life of the beef jerky. With these absorbers, oxygen can be completely eliminated so that the bacterial growth can be stopped in the beef jerky. There are many sizes available for oxygen absorbers. The most common ones are the 500cc oxygen absorbers and the 2000cc oxygen absorbers. It is important to decide what size oxygen absorber to use depending on the beef jerky that you have.
Vacuum packaging is another way of extracting the oxygen in order to prevent the beef jerky spoilage.
The storage and care of beef jerky are really important in order to maximize the beef jerky shelf life. Although all these methods are pretty common in the food processing units, the use of oxygen absorbers is one that is used most of the time.
Oxygen Absorbers are small packets that contain an iron powder. These packets are made of a material that allows oxygen to enter but does not allow the iron powder to leak out. When an oxygen absorber packet is removed from its protective packaging, the Oxygen molecules & moisture in the surrounding atmosphere begins to permeate into the iron particles inside of the absorber packets. Available moisture activates the iron, and it oxidizes to form iron oxide. Typically, there must be at least 45% relative humidity in the surrounding atmosphere before the rusting process can begin. To assist in the process of oxidation, sodium is added to the mixture. Sodium acts as a catalyst, or activator, causing the iron powder to be able to oxidize even with relatively low humidity.
As oxygen is consumed to form iron oxide the level of oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere is reduced. Absorber technology of this type may reduce the oxygen level in the surrounding atmosphere to below 0.01%. Complete oxidation of 1 g of iron can remove 300 cm3 of oxygen in standard conditions. Iron is the most useful as it does not cause odor like sulfur compounds or passivate like aluminum compounds. The moisture requirement of iron-based scavengers makes them ineffective in moisture sensitive applications.
Hence to resolve this issue, Sorbead India product “oxygen-absorber” has a slight proportion of water already present in the sachet hence it instantly activates upon exposure even under relative humidity less than 45%. The Oxygen Absorbers for Pharmaceuticals are highly recommended to oxygen-sensitive drugs & found to use for all those sensitive drugs which are amorphous & spray dried API. They are available in various sizes and absorption capacity, making it suitable for both bottle and bulk packing. The paper and the ink used to print on the Oxygen Absorbers Packets are all food-grade hence it can be used in direct contact with the drugs. Even during accidental consumption, there is no damage to the human body.
Many foods are very sensitive to oxygen, which is responsible for the deterioration of many products either directly or indirectly. In fact, in many cases, food deterioration is caused by oxidation reactions or by the presence of spoilage aerobic microorganisms. Therefore, in order to preserve these products, oxygen is often excluded. Oxygen presence in food packages is mainly due to failures in the packaging process, such as the mixture of gases containing oxygen residues, or inefficient vacuum. Vacuum packaging has been widely used to eliminate oxygen in the package prior to sealing. However, the oxygen that permeates from the outside environment into the package through the packaging material cannot be removed by this method.
The use of oxygen scavenging packaging materials means that oxygen dissolved in the food, or present initially in the headspace, can potentially be reduced to levels much lower than those achievable.
Oxygen scavengers Used in Meat Packaging to control color in red meat packages. When the pigment for red meat (hemoglobin) is exposed to oxygen, the meat appears as a bright red color, which is associated with freshness and overall acceptability. However, when meat is exposed to too much oxygen over time, the pigment converts to hemoglobin, which appears as a brown color and is not visually acceptable to consumers. Oxygen can turn fats rancid, cause flavor deterioration, create color changes, encourage mold and aerobic bacteria growth, and deplete nutritional values.
The Uses of Oxygen Absorber designed for the specific package can retain freshness and extend product shelf life without the use of artificial additives.
The main use of Oxygen Absorbers is to protect against the decay products, mainly food items. Oxygen Absorbers are small sachets, which are placed alongside the food products to ensure that they do not get spoilt. They absorb the oxygen present in the closed space and leave behind a nitrogen-filled environment, which is useful in extending the shelf life of the product. Oxygen Absorbers usually contain iron powder and sodium chloride, which reacts with the adsorbed oxygen to create iron oxide. When all the oxygen is absorbed, the Oxygen Absorber sachet becomes ‘saturated’ and will stop the intake of oxygen.
Going through these benefits one understands why so many people opt for Oxygen Absorbers during storing and transportation of food products
It is a known fact that food products have a limited shelf life. If they are exposed to air or vapor, then they will get damaged in no time. Food products are easily vulnerable to spoilage organisms like mold, fungus and different kinds of bacteria like mesophiles, psychrotrophic, thermophiles, and psychrophiles. The presence of this kind of fungus and bacterial organisms spells bad news for all kinds of food products, beverages, and dairy items.
The damages caused by fungus and bacteria are many. These spoilage organisms work by breaking down the chlorophyll present in plants and the iron elements in protein. This will not only make the food product inedible but also cut down its shelf life. When the organic enzymes are separated, then it leaves behind traces of ammonia, amines, sulfides and organic acid buildups. These react in a negative manner with food products. It will lead to the food items changing colors, turning rancid and becoming greasy. The end result of exposure to fungus and bacteria is that the food will turn stale and be unfit for consumption. If this happens while the food items are being transported from one place to another, then it will lead to heavy financial losses for companies.
Spoilage organisms like fungus need oxygen to grow and survive. They grow and reproduce faster in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. So the first thing one must do in order to prevent the growth of spoilage organisms is to remove all traces of oxygen from the packed spaces. When deprived of oxygen, the spoilage organisms cannot thrive and thus one can prevent the food items from getting spoilt.
While there are many other ways to create a vacuum in closed spaces, the best method is to make use of oxygen absorber sachets. These sachets contain ferrous oxide, which reacts with the oxygen present in the packed spaces to turn into rust. This process usually continues till all the oxygen has been absorbed and the oxygen absorber becomes “saturated”. Once all the oxygen has been absorbed, all that remains behind in the closed spaces is nitrogen, which is favorable for prolonging the shelf life of the product as well as keeping spoilage organisms at bay.
We hear the term oxygen absorbers everywhere but do we actually know what they are and what they are used for? Oxygen Absorbers are small packets containing iron powder, which are placed along side products like electronic and leather items, pharmaceuticals and most importantly, food items, which become stale after some time. This happens due to the presence of oxygen in the packages containing these products. It will react with the food items/pharmaceuticals to turn them rancid and change their physical/chemical combinations respectively. This is why companies make use of oxygen absorbers to take in all the excess oxygen present in closed spaces so that the packed products remain intact. If the goods are being transported to long destinations, then oxygen absorbers are a “must” as the goods will packed for days together and therefore their chances of getting spoilt are higher.
The working of the Oxygen Absorber is explained as follows- the iron powder present in the Oxygen Absorber sachet will absorb almost all the oxygen present in the closed environment. This will preserve the shelf life of the product and keep it fresh for longer periods. After all the oxygen is absorbed, certain atmospheric gases will be left behind in the packages. They are, however, inert and do not lead to spoilage of items. Oxygen Absorbers for food is important as these items are perishable and therefore need extra attention.
Like all other food items, sweets and confectioneries also have a limited shelf life. If left unattended, they can get spoilt and therefore inedible after a period of time. If this happens on a big scale, then the losses will be immense. This is the main reason why the food and beverage industry need oxygen absorbers in large numbers. When sweets are packed in large quantities, one should also place a sufficient number of oxygen absorbers as well because it will absorb all the oxygen in the packages and ensure that the sweets remain fresh for longer periods. This is ideal for situations like when the sweets have to be transported to far away places.
In the packages, the oxygen absorbers work to take in all the oxygen from the atmosphere. This leaves behind nitrogen, which is conducive for the long shelf life of the packed sweets. Periodical checking must be done to see if the oxygen absorbers are saturated or not. If they are saturated, then they must be replaced with new ones.
Oxygen is known to be one of the main sources of bringing along with it unwanted moisture and sometimes other toxic gases mixed with it. This causes most packaged foods and other sensitive equipment to get spoiled in double-quick time. Especially, in packaged foods, the presence of oxygen can lead to severe contamination and mold growth along with rancidity and in the loss of nutritive value of the foods that are packed with oxygen in them.
A suitable solution was needed to protect and extend the shelf life of most packaged foods. This saw the emergence of oxygen-absorbing strips and packets that contained specific substances that have a strong affinity for water vapor. Many of these strips can protect the foods from as much as 99.9 % of moisture and thereby be ensuring their longevity. Additionally, they preserve all the qualities of the original food before it was packed.
The use of oxygen absorbing strips has almost become a necessity when foods have to be preserved to be used at a later time. Apart from keeping oxygen out, they prevent the growth of aerobic pathogens and other microorganisms that thrive in oxygenated places where food products are stored. They also reduce the need for any additives in order to retain the originality of the food.
There is also sensitive equipment that performs critical operations that need protection from the harmful effects of moisture that comes with the oxygen. In many cases, they can be easily corroded or develop rust, which can be severely poisonous to humans. The use of Oxygen Absorbing Strips has becomes almost mandatory when these items are packed or stored. They are known to absorb even the smallest amounts of oxygen that may permeate through the packaging material.
Most of the oxygen-absorbing materials are packed in food grade packets and come with a warning printed on them to prevent their consumption.
According to several research results that have been conducted on the efficacy and safety of these Oxygen Absorbers, it has been concluded that the shelf life of food products can be extended for considerable periods of time. In the case of meats, they can be stored up to a month, whereas, there are other foods that remain the same until the time their packing is opened and consumed. They are also known to prevent the formation of volatile compounds that may be formed in the case of foods that have a high content of fat.
Oxygen is the fundamental requirement of every living being. But it is also the main reason for the spoiling of food and rusting of metals. This can mainly pose a threat in packaged food. And you cannot use any chemical to remove the oxygen because those chemicals will also react with the food products, making them toxic and unfit to consume. The best solution to avoid food spoilage from oxygen is by using absorbers. Oxygen absorbers are also known as oxygen scavengers. Scavengers are substances that remove unwanted products when added to a particular package. FDA standard approved food grade and pharma grade o-busters to help protect the packed food items. Due to their oxygen killing characteristics, they are also called o-busters.
Oxygen scavengers are basically small porous sachets containing a mixture of powdered irons and sodium chloride. Iron is the active ingredient responsible for the process of oxidation. The iron in the packet absorbs 99.9% of the oxygen in the container and begins to rust. It gives out nitrogen which is helpful in keeping insects and pests at bay. O² scavengers react rapidly with oxygen, passivate steel surfaces, have volatility and can be safely handled. Because they do not discharge any harmful gases or toxic elements, it is safe to use them in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Oxygen scavengers are designed to remove or decrease oxygen levels from inside packaged products, especially vacuum packing. They help to prevent the growth of fungus mold, mildew, and bacteria. In this way, they increase the shelf life of a product. Usually, each package is about 20cc to 3000cc o-busters in size. Sometimes, even zeolite and water are also used in absorbers. Water-based oxygen scavengers are generally used in seawater injection and production separation systems as a tool to prevent oxygen-induced corrosion.
The oxygen scavengers create oxygen depriving environment to help keep the packed food fresh. Hence they are used in packing of coffee and nuts, spices, seasoned foods, cheeses, and dairy products, fruits and some vegetables, berries, and sauces, snacks, cured meat, flour, and grain items, Bread, cookies, cakes, pastries, medical diagnostic kits and devices, and pharmaceutical products. As the oxygen scavengers are approved by the FDA, they are safe to be used in food packing and pharmaceutical packing.
The key use of oxygen absorber is to protect the shelf life of the food. In the case of packaged food, it stays in the retailer shop or malls for many days which may impact the quality of the food. But oxygen absorbers protect the taste and quality of the food along with the color. It also prevents the growth of oxygen-aerobic microorganisms like fungi etc. Plastic foods are not able to keep oxygen away from the food unlike metal or glass container. Oxygen, on the other hand, helps microorganisms to grow which causes damage to the product. But these oxygen absorbers absorb the oxygen from the packet.
Different kinds of oxygen absorbers are presently available in the market and the application depends on the specific needs. The components of oxygen absorber vary according to the purpose for which it is being used. Basically there are three ingredients iron powder, sodium, and activated carbon. Iron is the primary ingredient and sodium acts as an activator and causes the iron particles to rust and effectively reduce the level of oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere. An oxygen absorber is not harmful to the foods, it doesn’t generate any other gas and doesn’t distort the original smell and taste of the product.
Over the last almost 15 years oxygen absorbers have brought a revolution for the food package industry. It has made the job much easier and simpler than before. This has increased the life of foods after the storage process. On average these absorbers last for around one year. So, you can expect the taste and color of the food to remain unchanged even after a year's time period. Is it safe to eat this absorber? Well, it may not be a good option for your health. This is why it is often mentioned outside the container that there is oxygen absorber inside which should be discarded upon finding.
Now the concern is how many oxygen absorbers are required? Well, the number varies for different things like the size of the packet of the oxygen absorber, area of the container, type of the food that is being canned and the altitude of the place. But it is proved through various tests that a 500cc packet is enough to fulfill most of the jobs.
In the packing of meat, it is an established fact that the presence of oxygen can create contamination of different kinds in a very short period. This greatly reduces its shelf or storage life. Obviously, the remedy to this problem is to remove the presence of any oxygen while packing meat and its products.
Among the better-known methods of keeping oxygen out is with the use of oxygen absorbing packets. These can also be available in the form of strips or rolls of varying shapes and sizes. Each type of meat packing must have its own unique manner of keeping oxygen out. The presence of oxygen brings along with it moisture, which is another root cause for contaminating the products quickly.
One of the most effective ways of producing quality oxygen absorbers is by combining zeolite and chelated carbon and packing them either in polyester, polyethylene or in Tyvek paper as per the demands of the packaging required. It is important to note that these packing materials remain non-toxic at all times and do not bring about any changes in the meat products packed with them, besides, they have been approved by the USFDA.
Apart from eliminating the presence of oxygen and moisture, these packets also help in securing the contents from other corrosion contributing factors and increase their shelf life considerably without even changing their color or other compositions of their contents.
There are other similar methods that can be used to bring the same desired results. Interestingly, all these are low in cost and can preserve meat products for almost 30 days in their original condition. Consumers can now feel confident that the meat packaged in this way is very safe for consumption.
Some of the several benefits of this form of packing meat products are listed here:
These oxygen packets do not require any activation and provide a low start-up cost.
Oxygen absorbers remain a staple product for the preservation of food to reduce food wastage in developed nations and increased food security in the developing nations.
An oxygen absorber works at the available moisture in the packaged food and the trapped air causes the iron in the absorber to turn to rust, which then reduces the presence of oxygen, this process is called “oxidation.” This transition in oxygen content creates a higher concentration of nitrogen, which is better for the long term shelf life of the packaged food item.
Oxygen absorbers are used with baked goods, nuts, coffee, processed food, seasonings, flour, grains, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, pet foods, dehydrated fruits, vegetables, and meats. They bring down the oxygen level to 0 .01% or less.
Products that are low in moisture and the oils are best preserved with the absorbers. Foods should be below 10% moisture content for storing with absorbers. Storing foods with high moisture content in reduced oxygen packaging may result in botulism poisoning. For other foods like wheat, beans, corn, and peas, the oxygen absorbers will not make a difference as these are not oxygen sensitive.
Oxygen absorbers come in sizes varying from 20cc to 3000cc in individual sachets. (The “cc” stands for cubic centimeters as it relates to the amount of oxygen-absorbing capacity). Hence, the smaller the size of the container or volume of the bag, the lower would be the required capacity of the oxygen absorber.
Sorbead India is the global supplier of oxygen absorbers, its Oxygen Absorbers come in sachets and are supplied to a wide range of customers in the Food Industry.
Excellent quality iron is used to make the high-quality oxygen absorbers and iron quality make it an apt oxygen absorber to be used for food products, it is a necessity to use the food grade iron form to get the safe quality of oxygen absorbers for the avoidance of any type of risk to the packed products.