The Importance of Silica Gel in the Food and Beverage Industry
A unique and practical food/beverage product design helps attract customers, enhances usability, and keeps the contents of the package safe and fresh.
According to a consumer buying report, nearly 70% of individuals take the color, design, and graphics of the packaging into account when making a purchase decision. While the exterior design is a major part of getting consumers to try a product, the flavor is what ensures repeat consumption.
To ensure the freshness and flavor remains intact, silica gel beads are being increasingly used to keep moisture out of food products.
Here’s how silica gel works.
The Properties of Silica Gel
Silica gel packets have been around for decades and are commonly found in shoe boxes and vitamin bottles. However, over the last few years, their applications have broadened immensely, with expansive use in cosmetics, food, electronics, medicine, clothing, and many more industries.
The main use of silica gel is as a desiccant because of its moisture-absorbing properties. Silica gel is synthesized using silicon dioxide and has the appearance of small crystal-like beads.
Silica beads have millions of microscopic pores that increase surface area and lower vapor pressure inside. This makes them excellent at absorbing moisture from their surroundings. They are also non-toxic, non-corrosive, and chemically unreactive, making them even more suitable for use in the food and beverage industry.
Applications of silica gel in the F&B industry
The applications of silica gel in the food and beverage (F&B) industry are widespread. The most common uses are:
1. Anti-caking and Flow Agent
Anti-caking agents are added to materials that exist in powder or granule form; they prevent granules from sticking together and forming clumps (caking).
Silica gel is added to many foods and supplements to stop clumping, and this allows for easy packaging, transportation, flow-ability, and eventual consumption. The U.S Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that anti-caking agents, such as silicon dioxide, are safe for use.
2. Thickener and Clarifying Agent
A thickening agent increases the viscosity of a liquid, making allowing it to flow in a much smoother fashion. Additionally, clarifying agents remove suspended solids from liquids, once again, improving the smoothness of the beverage. Additives such as precipitated silica are common in foods and beverages.
3. Drink-clearing Agent
Silica gel can enhance the quality of non-alcoholic drinks and essential oils, liquors, and refreshments. It gets rid of turbid polymers that cause cloudiness or haziness in fluid, making the drink finer and visibly clearer.
As a leading supplier of silica gel across the world, Sorbead India has several years of experience providing organizations with moisture-free packaging solutions. With products such as USMDF silica gel rolls and silica gel desiccant packets we can meet the needs of a variety of trades, including the F&B industry. For more information about our products, call +91-756-768-8877.