Oxygen Absorbers Are Not Desiccants
Commonly used for dry food preservation, they contain iron powder as an active ingredient. On contact with oxygen, the powder absorbs it and becomes oxidized which, in turn, releases nitrogen.
Thus, the food will be preserved in an oxygen-free and nitrogen-rich environment…aiding in its long-term storage. Removing oxygen also helps prevent growth of bacteria, molds, and other spoilage organisms and bugs.
Oxygen absorbers cannot be reused…once all the iron becomes fully oxidized, it is useless.
These handy little packets work well for seeds, grains (corn, rice, wheat, etc.), flour, and just about any dry food imaginable!
NOTE: Keep unused oxygen absorbers in a Mason jar or other airtight glass container to preserve them for future use.
Ordinarily used for non-food preservation, silica gel is the most frequently used active element. It absorbs and retains moisture and, is used with a number of products to keep them dry. Some desiccants may use activated charcoal, among other things, as a moisture remover.
Desiccants are great protection for electronic equipment, medicines, shoes, and other items…keeping them dry during states of high humidity. Desiccants can be recycled by drying them out in an oven or microwave for a few minutes to remove the moisture. So, don’t throw them away… hang on to them for other items you want to stay dry.
Did you know that salt is a desiccant? When salt cakes up in a salt shaker, it has soaked up moisture from the air. For this reason, I always add some grains of rice to break up the clumps so the salt flows easier.
NOTE: Do not use oxygen absorbers and desiccants together. While it may sound like the best of both worlds…removing the oxygen with the absorbers…and, removing moisture with the desiccants…it won’t work! The reason is that the desiccants remove moisture. The iron powder in oxygen absorbers needs the moisture to become iron oxide as it removes oxygen from the food.
So…Food Preservation People…What Do You Need?
For the best deal, you can get 100cc Oxygen Absorber Compartment Packs (200, in 10 Compartments). These oxygen absorbers come in 10 separate vacuum-packed compartments so, you only have to unseal a small portion at a time.
Each packet absorbs about the amount of oxygen in a quart-sized Mason jar and can be used for both moist and dry food storage.
Oxygen absorbers are a smart addition to a first-class food storage strategy…just like Mason jars. You can be assured of the food protection you desire by using them.
Do you use these gems of the food storage world? What items do you use them with? Share your thoughts and comments below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.