How to Improve Shelf Life of Ready-to-Eat Food?
In today’s fast-paced life, ready-to-eat food items are quite the rage and for the right reasons. The sense of accessibility, ease of use, and high-quality food items provided make it the right choice for people on the go! This is a suitable choice for anyone looking for convenience without compromising on nutrients. However, keeping these ready-to-eat foods fresh and high-quality can be a challenge for manufacturers and consumers alike. Ready-to-eat meals and snacks are a lifesaver in our hectic lives, but their limited shelf life can sometimes put a strain on them.
In the food business, shelf life plays a crucial role in shaping consumer preferences and product quality overall and tells the amount of time that a food item is safe to consume, tasty, and nutritiously complete after production. Various elements, including humidity, temperature, and packaging, can have a big impact on a product's shelf life and can dictate how well the product can be stored or packaged for longer durations.
The challenge to improve the shelf life of ready-to-eat food lies in preserving its freshness without the need to use any extensive preservatives to maintain their shelf life, taste, texture, freshness, and flavour. Packaging for ready-to-eat items plays an important role in keeping these foods fresh, and in this article, we will look at the use of oxygen absorbers to achieve that effectively.
Importance of Oxygen absorbers in preserving ready-to-eat foods
In preventing oxidation of food
Oxidation is a natural process that generally occurs in the preservation and packaging of food products, when oxygen reacts with the molecules in food, leading to changes in color, taste, and nutritional value and impacting their quality. Oxygen absorbers when used in food packaging can help prevent these reactions and preserve the original qualities and texture of the food.
Extending the shelf life and effectiveness
Oxygen absorbers are mainly used to extend the shelf life of pre-packaged foods and ready-to-eat items that are found to stay fresh for longer durations. When there are changes or low levels of oxygen in the atmosphere during packaging or transit, microorganisms, such as aerobic bacteria and molds can cause food spoilage.
When oxygen is removed from the surrounding environment during packaging, storage, or transit of food items, the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast that cause spoilage is arrested, and optimum conditions are maintained. Oxygen absorbers significantly increase the shelf life of your favourite pre-packaged food and ready-to-eat items, which means fewer food items go to waste, saves you money, and helps the environment with sustainability.
Maintain and preserve food quality
Oxygen absorbers maintain the quality of food by retaining texture, flavour, and high nutritional value. They also help in preventing rancidity in the ready-to-food items as they are pre-cooked and vulnerable to these conditions and keeping ready-to-eat food items fresh for longer durations.
The oxidation process can also damage the color and nutrition of food. The oxygen absorbers reduce oxidation, keeping your favorite snacks fresh and healthy. Bacteria can cause food to change texture, such as soften or harden. By preventing bacterial growth, the oxygen absorbers maintain your ready-to-eat food’s texture.
Ensuring high levels of food safety
When optimum levels of oxygen are maintained when storing ready-to-eat items, it helps reduce the growth of pathogens and harmful bacteria, which is important to maintain high levels of food safety, reassuring consumers that the packaged food they buy is free of contaminants.
Low levels of oxygen prevent the growth of pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful bacteria, and these harmful bacteria can produce toxins when exposed to oxygen, which is why Oxysorb prevents them from growing and reduces toxin contamination of the food item.
Convenient and easy to use
Oxygen absorbers are very easy to use with any kind of food packaging. The sachets are non-toxic and are USFDA-approved, and free from preservatives. They can be used during packaging, storage, and transportation of various food items, ready-to-eat items, food products and byproducts, etc. Since Oxygen absorbers typically come in small, sealed packets they can be easily placed inside the food packaging, to be effective and draw and absorb the excess oxygen from the food packaging.
Applications of Oxygen Absorbers in various ready-to-eat items
Oxygen absorbers have a wide range of uses in ready-to-eat foods and are good for food preservation.
Bakery products: Oxysorb is used in a wide variety of baked goods, from bread, cookies, pastries, and cakes. By reducing oxygen exposure, oxygen absorbers help preserve the texture and taste of baked goods, extending bakery products' shelf life.
Snacks: Numerous ready-to-eat snacks like chips, pretzels, namkeens, and nuts are highly susceptible to oxidation, which can lead to rancidity and loss of crunchiness, texture, and flavor of the snacks. Oxygen absorbers are essential in preventing these undesirable changes and spoilage allowing consumers to enjoy crisp snacks even after extended periods.
Dehydrated or freeze-dried meals: Oxygen-absorbing capabilities of Oxysorb can play an important role in preserving the taste and nutritional value of various dehydrated or freeze-dried pre-packaged meals. These products tend to last longer with higher chances of preserving their nutritional value when stored with oxygen-absorbing sachets and pouches.
Ready-to-eat meal pouches: Ready-to-eat meal pouches are a common feature of modern packaging and allow for easy access to pre-packaged meals, on the go for the urban population. Oxygen-absorbing pouches prevent the food from breaking down, preserving its flavours, freshness, and nutrients intact throughout its shelf life.
Dairy products: Dairy products are highly perishable food items, and ready-to-drink dairy or ready-to-eat dairy products need to be protected well from detrimental factors and spoilage. Oxygen absorbers can help improve and enhance the shelf life of dairy-based ready-to-eat items, by reducing oxidative reactions.
Meat and poultry products: Oxygen absorbers can greatly help in preserving the taste and texture of meat and poultry. From jerky to fully cooked meals, these absorbers help prevent the development of any spoilage or off-flavours and maintain the desired texture in these protein-rich items.
Other pre-packaged convenience food items: Many pre-packaged convenience food items such as candies, chocolates, and canned foods, also can benefit from the use of Oxysorb during packaging, storage and transportation, as they can fight the process of oxidation and growth of mold, mildew, microorganisms, etc. that lead to potential food spoilage.
We provide high-quality packaging solutions to improve the shelf life of ready-to-eat food with food-grade oxygen absorber packets, Oxysorb. They can be used in vacuum-sealed and manual-sealed packaging, and are the perfect solution for all packaging issues against excess oxygen in food packaging.