Oxygen absorbers are compact iron packets and are essential in the preservation of packaged food products. These packages absorb most oxygen absorbers and keep the oxygen level at a nominal rate of 0.01 percent.
This process happens because of the presence of iron in the sachets. This change in oxygen level leads to higher nitrogen concentration, which expands the goods’ shelf life.
Scientists and environmentalists predict that the demand for oxygen absorbers will be significantly on the rise in the coming years as sustainable development is the need of the hour, and people worldwide are inclined to adopt measures to avoid food wastage.
Absorbers preserve food color, prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms and protect the food from infestation. Also, oils used in packaged food products become rancid over time. Absorbers prevent the oils from going rancid by maintaining their nutritional properties.
Analysts point out that the last decade witnessed the growing demand for packaged food items due to the noticeable change in the lifestyle of nuclear families. The numbers are expected to increase in the coming years.
The rise in demand for packaged food products is directly proportional to advanced measures that can help improve the shelf life of these products.
With enterprising campaigners like CILICANT coming to the fore; there is a significant boost in the production and sales of oxygen absorbers in India. As the food and beverages market has fuelled the demand for absorbers, consumers will surely adopt this sustainable mode of preservation.
1. Prevents the Growth of Bacteria.
In the case of stored food items, oxygen is the breeding ground for bacteria. It is a known fact that consuming contaminated food can lead to food poisoning and other related diseases.
It is recommended to scrutinize the food package before consumption to avoid such dangers. However, the best means to keep the bacteria at bay is by safeguarding the food packets with absorber packets.
2. Non-poisonous Constituents.
Absorber packets are safe and non-toxic. The agents that help in absorption are only salt and iron. They neither react with each other nor with the food items. They become active only after the consumer opens the bag, and it is recommended to use the sachets immediately after opening them.
Since these sachets are non-toxic, they do not alter the texture, shade, aroma, or taste of the products. Because of these properties, food manufacturers around the world prefer absorbers.
3. Eco-friendly in Nature.
The absorber sachets can be disposed of after usage very easily, without the need for any particular method. They are environment-friendly and function efficiently without causing any trouble. Additionally, the use of absorbers eliminates the requirement for additives such as BHA, sulfur dioxide, etc.
4. Effectively reduces the oxygen content without causing any harm.
In a survey conducted by Cardiff University in 2019, 86% of scientists agreed that absorber packets are the best means to preserve packaged food items without causing any health hazard to the consumer because most other food preservatives have harmful side-effects.
Additionally, they are also available in wide-ranging designs for both dry and moist food products.
5. Inexpensive and widely available.
Absorbers are now widely available everywhere, and they are both inexpensive and simple. Availability at a lower price is beneficial while transporting food items to distant places.
Using options like vacuum packaging can be costly, and that is why people prefer absorber sachets over vacuum packaging to prevent oxidation.
What kind of containers can one use?
In the preservation of food using absorber sachets, the container one uses plays a determining role. The container has to be air-tight, and it should not leak air. Some of the common containers that are ideal for storing food (along with the absorber packets) are listed below:
1. Mason jars/Fruit jars.
For storing food in smaller quantities, mason jars or canning jars are ideal. Along with the food, add the required amount of absorber and close the jar with the lid. This is a commonly preferred method of storing food.
2. Food-grade containers/buckets.
For storing food in larger quantities, food grade-buckets coupled with oxygen absorbers are the best choice. One can fill the container with dry food, add the required amount of absorber and close the jar. Though food-grade buckets are a bit costly, they ensure tight sealing.
N.B: Do not unnecessarily open the lid and expose the food. In such a case, one will have to reseal the container again, along with more absorber sachets.