How do Ethylene Absorbers Help In Food Preservation?
Published On: January 6, 2023 Revised On: May 4, 2023

How do Ethylene Absorbers Help In Food Preservation?

Processing food in a way that inhibits the growth of germs and reduces oxidation is known as food preservation. Lengthen a food product’s shelf life by preventing the food’s oxidation, and one of the most effective approaches is to store food items in oxygen-tight containers. Fruits, vegetables, and flowers can now last longer on the shelf thanks to the usage of the variety of ethylene absorbers available.

The need to preserve food

The use of ethylene absorbers in food preservation has also proven to be a more effective way to lengthen the shelf life of food goods. After harvest, most fresh produce, fruits, and flowers release ethylene and water vapour. These compounds, which act as a catalyst, speed up the ripening of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Thus, to delay the ripening process, ethylene absorbers are used.

Active packaging is one of the most effective methods for preserving food and lengthening a product’s shelf life. Businesses are delighted with this procedure because it uses little food preservatives and does not affect the consumers.

Furthermore, during preservation, additional actions are taken to assist in extending the shelf life of food, removing dangerous material, ensuring the environment is ideal, and keeping the food outside the danger zone.

Unwanted elements such as grain husks, certain vegetable skins, and coconut shells may be toxic or inedible. During the preservation process, all of the undesirable components of the food are removed.

Food that has been processed has a better taste and appearance. For example, the brown crust imparts a distinct flavour and aroma to baked goods. Furthermore, various processing methods, such as fermentation and caramelisation, provide a variety of flavours to food.

How does an Ethylene absorber help in food preservation?

Fruits, vegetables, and flowers emit ethylene and water vapour after being harvested. Ethylene accelerates the ripening process. It causes deterioration, breaking, and ripening, and the excess moisture accelerates decay and the growth of fungus and mould.

The various ethylene absorbers available are made of minerals and zeolites, which absorb the ethylene gas in a package and lengthen the shelf life of food products.

Types of Ethylene Absorbers

1. Ethylene Machine

Ethylene machines are designed for small to medium-sized cold storage areas. The ethylene emissions are drastically reduced in cold storage facilities for preserving perishable commodities at supermarkets and other cold chain store locations using ethylene machines. The ethylene machine keeps the goods fresh for a long time. Producers and distributors can protect their investments and provide clients with fresh, high-quality products by using this machine.

2. Ethylene Pallet Covers

Ethylene pallet covers were created to meet the needs of various applications. These covers can remove impurities and increase shelf life after harvest by removing the ethylene that fresh food produces.

a. Ethylene Covers | MB+P

Ethylene cover MB+P helps lengthen shelf-life after harvest and considerably lower ethylene levels during storage and shipping. The producers can keep the goods in storage for a long time while they wait for more suitable circumstances to sell them. These covers trap ethylene gas, which slows down the ripening process.

b. Ethylene Covers

Ethylene cover | KeepFresh is a distinctive polyethene cover that slipped over the produce pallet, including fruits and vegetables. To preserve the freshness of fruits and vegetables and to delay the ripening and rotting processes, ethylene is removed from the environment by a proprietary addition in a plastic film. The covers’ porous, absorbent material allows for optimum gas exchange within the packing and inhibits the formation of bacteria and mould on the packaged food.

c. Ethylene Covers | High Density

Ethylene covers | High-Density can preserve apples, pears, and other high ethylene emission fruits and vegetables. The covers’ design allows for equitable dispersion throughout the container; for example, one cover for each bin or pallet using the centralised filtering method. They provide a powerful but affordable solution. These coverings are perfect for applications that require protection against moisture. Due to their active components, they effectively lower ethylene levels without posing a risk of contamination.

d. Ethylene Covers | MFAC

Producers may guarantee that the products are supplied of the highest quality by using ethylene covers MFAC. Additionally, these covers reduce weight loss and prevent product contamination. Since the items have a longer shelf life, harvesters may ship them using more affordable transportation methods. The producers are even allowed to keep the goods in storage for a long time while they wait for more suitable circumstances to sell them.

e. Ethylene Covers | MP+S

Unrefrigerated foods, such as berries and pineapples, emit ethylene, hastening the ripening and maturing process. This emission causes the goods to spoil during storage and delivery, resulting in financial losses for the manufacturer, supplier, and distributor. Ethylene covers MP+S are specifically developed to reduce ethylene emissions and extend product shelf life.

These speciality covers protect berries and pineapples on pallets. Inside these covers, ethylene gas is trapped, slowing the ripening process. They have various effects on the protection and shelf life of fresh products.

3. Ethylene Absorber Sachets

Ethylene absorber sachets preserve the freshness of food while in storage or transit by eliminating the ethylene present. This prevents general rotting and dehydration. The sachets are placed with fresh produce, flowers, and fruits. They aid in preserving and extending the product’s shelf life.

These ethylene sachets function well in humid environments, and the sachets’ structure permits gaseous exchanges and is highly water-resistant. The ethylene absorber sachets will absorb the ethylene gas from the pack, providing a sterile, clean environment to increase the shelf life of the packed goods.

4. Ethylene Absorber Filter

Poor air quality during the post-harvest period reduces fresh produce’s quality and shelf life. The Ethylene absorber filter safeguards the fresh produce by removing ethylene gas, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and spores from the air. It is used to modify the environment during the natural recirculation of cold transport equipment.

The breathability of this filter, enabled by its distinct granulometry and support, protects fruits and vegetables from dust and moisture. The absorption capacity of these ethylene absorber filters is more than 3 and 4 litres of ethylene per kilogramme, respectively.

5. Ethylene Film

Ethylene film solves the problem of agricultural products by losing their freshness during transportation and shipping. The packaging can absorb and discharge harmful gases produced by decomposition during transport and shipping.

Ethylene film is a mature greengrocer hormone made of natural inorganic material that extends the display period and improves quality. Furthermore, it enhances permeability and oxygen and moisture transmission increases.

How does it work?

  1. Ethylene Absorption: The ethylene created by the fresh produce is absorbed by the minerals in the ethylene absorber that absorbs ethylene molecules.
  2. Ethylene oxidation occurs when ethylene is drawn to the media in the ethylene absorber and turns into water and carbon dioxide.
  3. Moisture absorption – The surplus moisture produced inside the packaging is also absorbed, which prevents microbes from growing there.


Over time, techniques for food preservation have been discovered. One of the finest techniques for preventing food deterioration and reducing food waste from rancidity, rot, and fungus is using oxygen and ethylene absorbers.

Ethylene causes food to deteriorate, ripen, and spoil; ethylene absorbers keep ethylene stable and prevent spoilage. Food products are oxidised by oxygen, which has several negative impacts and causes rotting. Oxygen absorbers reduce the amount of oxygen in packaging to extend the shelf life of a product.