Do you have food that needs to be stored for a long period of time? Are you looking for the most effective way to preserve your items and keep them fresh? Oxygen absorbers may just provide the solution!
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
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 a vacuum sealed 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
Understanding why you should use oxygen absorbers is vital to learning how to utilize them properly. There are five key reasons to utilize oxygen absorption packets for dry food packing.
The first reason to use oxygen absorbers is to extend the shelf life of food. Oxygen absorbents are able to reduce the oxygen level in a sealed environment, significantly slowing down the oxidation process of food.
This helps to preserve foods for long term food storage and increase their overall shelf life by preventing spoilage.
The second reason is that oxygen absorbers can help maintain essential vitamins in dry goods. By reducing the amount of oxygen, they help to prevent oxidation which can reduce nutrient levels in food over time.
This helps maintain a more nutritious meal and keeps vitamins intact for longer periods of time.
The third reason is that using an oxygen absorber packet will also eliminate any bug eggs or other pests from entering into sealed packages as well as preventing them from multiplying within these environments since there’s no oxygen present to sustain them.
This helps protect food packages from infestation, keeping them safe and fresh for longer periods of time.
Fourthly, using an absorber can also help reduce the off-flavors that come with oxidation by preventing air contact in the sealed packaging environment.
By eliminating oxygen, any off-flavors caused by oxidation will be prevented, and the food’s original taste can remain intact for longer.
Lastly, using an absorber also helps to reduce moisture levels in sealed packages which further prevents spoilage or contamination of food due to mold growth over time. This helps to keep the food dry and fresh for longer periods, ensuring that it remains safe to eat over a long period of time.
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 plastic 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 emergency 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 prepper food is labeled correctly. Include the contents of the plastic bucket and the date you packaged it.
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. There are also methods you can do to vacuum seal your food so there is minimal air inside.
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.
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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