The Role of Oxygen Absorbers in Preserving Your Foodadmin
Historically food was preserved using methods like drying and salting. However, with the advancement in science and technology, food is preserved on a large scale using oxygen absorbers, also known as oxygen scavengers.
Oxygen and moisture are the main factors that can cause food to go bad, decay, and form mold. Oxygen absorbers are desiccants and are packets of iron powder and salt. Against popular beliefs, they are non-toxic and also free of BPA. They help protect food from insects, prevent the growth of molds, and are used to increase the shelf life of food for more than ten years in some cases.
Benefits of Oxygen Absorbers:
Some benefits of oxygen absorbers include:
- They contribute toward extending the shelf life of food
- They help maintain the food’s flavor
- Stop bacteria and mold from growing on food
- Are Convenient to use
How Do Oxygen Absorbers Work?
Oxygen absorbers most commonly come in permeable packets, which allow moisture and oxygen to enter but do not allow the iron powder to go out. They work by absorbing moisture and oxygen, and when the oxygen molecules stick to the iron inside the oxygen absorber packet, it turns it into rust.
Through this process, oxygen in the container can be reduced to almost 0.01 percent and leaves nitrogen in the container, which does not cause food to decay. For this to work, food should be sealed in an air-tight container.
The choice of container is important to consider in order for the oxygen absorber to work effectively. It is advisable to use foil pouches, metal cans, PETE, mason jars, Mylar bags. Furthermore, the amount of oxygen absorbers used in a container is also very crucial for them to work properly.
An indicator that the oxygen absorber is working is that it will be warm when touched, and the color of the content inside the packet will be dark blue as compared to bright pink color of an unused oxygen absorber.
Oxygen absorbers work best with dry foods and those with low moisture and oil content. Placing oxygen absorbers with foods that have high moisture content can lead to botulism poisoning and can be very dangerous.
Oxygen absorbers are a convenient and efficient method of preserving food, provided you are cautious about certain factors like containers and what foods to put them with.