Oxygen Absorbers- An Introduction
Oxygen absorbers, also known as oxygen scavengers, are small sachets that are placed in packages to remove or reduce the amount of oxygen. The level of oxygen needs to be maintained in closed packets, especially food packets, to ensure that the products placed inside do not get spoil or lose their freshness. A wide range of oxygen absorbers is available in the market. The oxygen absorber is usually sold in the form of porous sachets, packets and can also be found in packaging films. Some types of oxygen absorbers are an integral part of polymer structure.
The composition of an oxygen absorber depends on many factors. These include what it is being used for, the water activity of the packaged goods among others.
Oxygen Absorbers for Preservation of Food Products
Oxygen Absorbers are very important in the food industry. Many types of food products are packed and transported to different places and so it becomes crucial that they remain fresh and unspoilt till they reach their final destination. Oxygen Absorbers remove oxygen from the closed space, leaving behind nitrogen, which helps increase the shelf life of the food product. Most oxygen absorbers reduce the oxygen levels to around 0.1% or even lesser.
If food products are in an oxygen-filled closed atmosphere for a long time, it can get spoilt in many different ways. These include growth of micro-organisms like mold, fungus and being affected by bugs. Food products can also turn rancid. Condensation and oxidizing of the vitamin portions of the food items may also occur. These are some of the different ways in which food products get spoilt when they come in contact with oxygen.
How Oxygen Absorbers Work
Oxygen Absorbers are usually available in a sealed bag and hence it becomes important that once they are opened, they should be immediately placed in the designated package. Otherwise, if it is left in the open, the oxygen absorber will start absorbing oxygen from the outside atmosphere itself.
Oxygen absorbers work through a process of chemical reaction. The oxygen absorber sachets contain iron powder, which when coming in contact with the oxygen turns into rust. Thus, all the iron powder gets oxidized and in this manner, the oxygen absorber becomes “saturated”. The absorbing action will stop at this point of time. Next, place the oxygen absorber sachet out in the open and it will again start reacting with the outside oxygen till all the iron powder turns into rust.
Oxygen Absorbers cannot be used to preserve all kinds of products. They are best suited for those food items, which are low in moisture and oil content. If the vapor content is not less than 10%, then contact with oxygen absorbers will lead to botulism poisoning. Thus oxygen absorbers are best for protecting dry fruits from insect damage as the fruits have very less moisture content.
Oxygen absorbers are small size packets that contain iron powder and little amount of water and salt. The packets are made from tyvek paper material which is FDA approved for long term moisture protection.
O-Busters were developed to protect packaged foods and other products against mold growth, spoilage, rancidity, color change, loss of nutritive values, and loss of quality. It is greatly extend the shelf life and freshness of properly canned and sealed air-tight items. It is made of a chemical compound, the active ingredient of which is form in powdered iron oxide. It has revolutionized the way that dehydrated food is stored long-term. The packets are made of a material that allows oxygen and moisture to enter but does not allow the iron powder to leak out. It is absorb oxygen and effectively reduce the aerobic environment to 0% oxygen. It is designed for various applications and made in different formulations to match the water activity of the foods they are protecting. The presence of oxygen decreases the storage life of food and pharmaceutical tablets and capsules causes’ oxidization.
OXYGEN ABSORBER PACKETS are used in different industries which range from food and medical industries and have an absorption time line of 4 days. O-Buster and Ageless Oxygen Scavengers can be used with grain, rice, noodle, dry fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, foods and analytic packages which require very strict maintenance requirements. Oxygen Scavenger Packs are non harmful and can be used without worry of pollution.