Monday, January 10, 2011

Oxygen Absorbers

This information was provided with my pack of 100 oxygen absorbers. It is useful information, and I'll re-type it for future reference.

How are they used?

  • To lower the oxygen content in containers of packaged foods

  • Helps preserve product quality and protect the stored food from insect infestation.

What are they made of?

  • Elemental iron mixed with a moisture absorbing material.
  • Packet covers are made of a semipermeable material that allows oxygen and moisture to enter, but does not allow the contents of the packets to leak out.

How do they work?

  • When moisture is absorbed into the packets, it causes the iron to rust. The process of oxidising the iron absorbs the oxygen from the package atmosphere.
  • Temperature and the moisture level in the container determine the rate of the reaction.
  • 'Ageless' absorbers are rated for 300cc of oxygen each. With their reserve capacity each absorber has adequate capacity for up to 4 litres of properly packaged food.

Is this the same as vacuum packaging?

  • Not quite. The absorbers remove only the oxygen.
  • Air is about 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. The residual air in the container is mostly nitrogen, which will not affect the food.

What types of containers can be used with oxygen absorbers for food storage?

  • Containers that are a barrier against moisture and oxygen.
  • Foil pouches (mylar bags), metal cans with seamed lids, glass canning jars (and those glass jars with screw top lids), and PETE plastic bottles.

Directions for using Oxygen Absorbers

1. Cut open the top of the bag of absorbers. Do not cut open the individual absorber packets.

2. Remove the number of absorbers that you will use in the next 30 minutes.

3. Reseal the supply of absorbers by one of any of the following methods:

(i) Seal the absorber bag with an impulse heat sealer

(ii)Place the absorbers into glass canning (screw top lid) jars. 500 ml will hold 25 absorbers.

4. Place one absorber into each container.

5. Remove additional groups of absorbers, as needed, during packaging.

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