How to Use Oxygen Absorbers: Best Guide for You this 2022

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This article will give you the simplest straightforward guide and the most uncomplicated steps on how to use oxygen absorbers.

Most beginners had no idea how to use oxygen absorbers when they started looking into food storage. But what they do know is that it will come in handy, especially for someone who constantly stores food.

If you had significant food deterioration issues and initially didn’t know how to prevent them, you may also relate to their experience.

You don’t need to be concerned about oxygen absorbers and learning how to use them yourself.

In this post, you’ll know that these tiny pouch wonders will help you preserve your food’s flavor, color, and nutritional content. They can help protect vitamins and medications from oxidation.

As you read through this blog about food storage, you’ll discover that using oxygen absorbers to pack dry goods purchased in bulk is a low-cost approach to starting basic food storage. However, to do it securely, you must understand how to use oxygen absorbers properly.

Let’s get you started.

Oxygen Absorbers Defined

unpacked oxygen absorber on a palm

Oxygen absorbers are little sachets of iron powder that are entirely safe. They are BPA-free and non-toxic.

When packaging dry goods, they also remove oxygen from the air, which contains 21% oxygen, and the remainder is mostly nitrogen. As a result, oxygen in an airtight container “sticks” to the iron in an oxygen absorber. Only nitrogen remains in the air, which does not affect your food.

Reasons to Use Oxygen Absorbers

food in mason jars with oxygen absorber

Understanding why you should use oxygen absorbers is vital to learning how to utilize them properly. There are five key reasons to utilize oxygen absorbers for dry food packing.

First, it’s to extend the product’s life for up to 30 years for most dry foods.
It’s for avoiding the formation of mold or germs in your meals. Without oxygen to feed on, nothing like those will develop.

Next, vitamins A, C, and E are lost when exposed to the air. We should preserve these vitamins. Also, it will keep dehydrated or freeze-dried fruits from browning. As a result, you’ll be able to maintain the flavor.

Last but not least, it eliminates bug eggs that may be present in your food that is too little for the naked eye to see.

This build-up usually happens on grains. Without oxygen, these eggs will not hatch or proliferate. Another way to prevent this is by putting your food in the freezer for 48 hours will also destroy bug eggs.

Most dry foods have a relatively long shelf life which can last for one to five years. You don’t need to utilize an oxygen absorber if you plan to change your nutrition frequently.

However, if you choose to use oxygen absorbers, you gain the above benefits. They’re pretty affordable, anyway.

How to Use Oxygen Absorbers

Let’s jump right in and get into some actual steps in using oxygen absorbers.

1. Get Your Containers Ready

First and foremost, make sure that the containers you intend to use are clean and dry. Also, keep the lid close by to rapidly seal the container once you have added the food and oxygen absorber.

Containers should use foil pouches that often come with mylar bags, mason jars, some number 10 metal cans with seamed lids, and food-grade plastic buckets that are around five to six gallons have mylar bags (on Amazon).

Refrain from using zip-seal plastic bags and non-PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate) plastic containers that do not come with mylar bags.

Manufacturers use PET or PETE to make bottles for soda, water, and other drinks. You can only use PETE plastic once, which is unsuitable for food preservation and long-term storage.

2. Get Your Food Ready

Make sure your food is clean and clear of debris. Then pour it into the containers you’ve chosen to store it in, but don’t close them yet.

I do not recommend storing brown rice, jerky, granola, pearled barley, dried eggs, milled grains, rolled oats, brown sugar, nuts, or any dehydrated fruit or vegetable not dry enough to snap when bent. These foods contain a lot of moisture that is not that obvious, unlike fresh produce, yogurt, cheese, and raw meat. 

3. Keep Safe Oxygen Absorbers

The oxygen absorbers will then instantly begin to absorb oxygen. You’ll have to move swiftly. However, keeping any absorbers you aren’t presently using in a firmly sealed mason jar (on Amazon) can assist.

4. Remove the Oxygen Absorbers from Its Pack

Remove one oxygen absorber and place the remaining ones in your mason jar. To your first container, add one oxygen absorber.

Oxygen absorbers should feel soft and powdery within. If it feels hard or chunky, it has absorbed all of the oxygen it will absorb, and you should discard it.

As oxygen absorbers begin to absorb oxygen, they will heat up. So if it’s warm when you’re handling it, that’s a good indicator it’s working. Just seal it up at once. I’d throw it if it became too hot.

5. Close the Container

This step is pretty straightforward. You need to seal shut your container.

6. Put a Label on It

Make sure your food is labeled correctly. Include the contents of the container and the date you packaged it.

example of food container with labels

7. Leave It, then Check on It

The oxygen absorber might take many days, perhaps a week, to remove all of the oxygen from the container. 

If you’re using cans or jars, everything should be alright. Double-check that your seal is intact if you’re using mylar bags.

Keep in mind that oxygen absorbers consume oxygen rather than air. Air is only around 21% oxygen. It means that you will preserve roughly 80% of the air. As a result, your packages may not seem to be vacuum-packed. 

However, you should slightly reduce the residual quantity of air in the bag, and if you remove the air as much as possible before sealing the bag, the item may appear vacuum-sealed.

8. Do Steps 4 and 5 Again

Repeat these steps for your other containers and food.

9. Seal Your Food Again

This step is crucial since it won’t matter whether you know how to utilize oxygen absorbers if they go bad.

As a result, save any remaining oxygen absorbers in an airtight mason jar. They should last six to twelve months. Make sure you double-check them before using them. Toss them out if they’re hard or chunky.

Last Words

Finally, we learned why oxygen absorbers are critical for the survivalist. As a prepper, you’ll want to start utilizing oxygen absorbers right now because they may help you store food for up to 30 years.

Furthermore, with this guide, you will be able to preserve your food safely. So, now, you can buy food in large quantities to save money and then store it both for everyday use and emergencies.

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