If you have ever opened a bag of beef jerky, you might have noticed a white non-edible packet included inside the bag. This small white packet is most likely an oxygen absorber, which is being used in this situation to eliminate any excessive oxygen in the bag that could shorten the lift span of the beef jerky. These oxygen absorbers should not be confused with packets of desiccant, such as the little white packets bags of silica gel that read "DO NOT EAT" that you may find in a shoe box or new purse, as the desiccant packets are instead used to eliminate the moisture inside a sealed environment.
Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe, and an important part of the atmosphere necessary for the survival of most terrestrial life. Since oxygen is found in most living organisms and compounds, it is hard to imagine that oxygen could be harmful. However, since Oxygen constitutes 20% of the void airspace in a containerized environment, it can reduce the longevity of food, pharmaceuticals, metals and other items that may be stored in such an environment.
WHAT ARE OXYGEN ABSORBERS?
One solution to preventing oxygen damage is to use oxygen absorbers. Oxygen absorbers are comprised of powered irons, which work to eliminate the oxygen within a confined environment. Oxygen absorbers do not release harmful gases or toxic elements, thus making them FDA approved.
AGM distributes a line of oxygen absorbers called O-Buster®, which eliminate oxygen from inside packaged environments. O-Buster® packets will pick up approximately three times their weight in oxygen, which will reduce the need for additives, gas flushing and vacuum packaging. In addition, O-Busters® are a great tool for protecting against both oxidative and microbial rancidity. Rancidity can cause a variety of issues from mold or discoloration, to changing the intended taste or odor of a food or vitamin/pharmaceutical product.
O-Buster® packets are safe and effective for:
- Baked Goods
- Rice, grain, pasta, seeds, pet food & nuts
- Dried fruit & vegetables
- Spices, seasonings & herbs
- Coffee, Tea & Cocoa
- Processed & dried meats
- Pharmaceuticals & vitamins
- Diagnostic Kits & devices
- Art preservation, metal products
Some of the many benefits to using oxygen absorbers:
- Extend product shelf life
- Retain flavors of ingredients and freshness in foods
- Delays browning of fruits and vegetables
- FDA approved
- Prevent oxidation of vitamins such as A, C and E
- Environmentally safe and easy to use
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH SIZE TO USE?
O-Busters® are rated by the number of cubic centimeters (cc) of Oxygen that they will absorb. Available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 20 cc ‐ 1000 cc, there are many options to choose from and it is important to select an appropriate oxygen absorbing capacity based upon the volume of the space to be protected. The chart below provides a guide to assist in choosing the necessary size for your application.
AGM’s product specialists are also available to answer questions and provide additional assistance in selecting the correct size and amount for your application.
Note: If you are looking for a different quantity, AGM can repackage these oxygen absorbers to meet your requirements.
With the continuous rise in food costs, people are beginning to look at ways to stretch the value of a dollar, and one of those ways is to buy in bulk. The concept of food prepping or long-term food storage has been a routine task for many people, whether they are preparing for a long winter or just looking to save money.
The key to storing food for an extended period of time is to eliminate oxygen from the package that is being used. Oxygen absorbers are a perfect solution for this issue since they can easily be placed inside a sealed bag, jar or even a barrel to quickly absorb any excess oxygen that may be present.
When preserving food, it is important to protect your food's nutritional value and shelf life, as well as the intended taste, regardless if you are looking for effective long-term food storage or additional protection while your product is in transit or ready for purchase. Utilizing oxygen absorbers will prevent the growth and proliferation of bacteria, mold and mildew. Oxygen absorbers are non-toxic and safe to use in direct contact with food.
Used by the United States Military, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), are pre-packaged meals that require no cooking and offer a long shelf life (up to 3 years in most cases). MREs are also utilized as emergency and survival food sources for non-military applications. Oxygen absorbers are placed inside the MREs to absorb excessive moisture while they are sealed inside a Mylar bag. The combination of a Mylar bag and Oxygen absorber can add years to a products shelf life.
Oxygen absorbers are also used in the storage of dry pet food, such as bird seeds. They are used in a similar manner as mentioned before, in that the oxygen absorber is placed in a sealed environment to extend the pet food's shelf life. A new trend in the dog food industry, are homemade or organic dog treats, and with such products oxygen absorbers are placed within the packaging to preserve the treats freshness, flavor and longevity.
Oxygen absorbers can also be used for art and artifact preservation. Museums can place these small yet effective oxygen absorber packets inside glass display cases to prevent any damage to delicate and valuable artifacts and paintings. Even items that are hundreds of years old can benefit from the use of oxygen absorbers, thereby preserving the longevity and history behind these artifacts.