What are Oxygen Absorbers?
Published On: August 24, 2021 Revised On: May 4, 2023

What are Oxygen Absorbers?

What are Oxygen Absorbers?

Oxygen Scavengers or Oxygen Absorbers are often used in enclosed food packaging to reduce the level of oxygen. Oxygen Absorbers can increase the shelf life of food products, retaining their freshness, flavours, aroma, and quality.

Oxygen Absorbers are small packets that contain a mixture of iron powder, sodium, and activated carbon has proven quite effective in helping decrease the available oxygen in the package. Iron powder is the main component, while sodium acts as an activator, causing the iron particles to rust and effectively reducing the oxygen level in the surrounding atmosphere to approximately 0.01% when used appropriately.

Oxygen Absorbers were designed to protect food products against such growth of aerobic microorganisms. More than any other atmospheric element, oxygen is the main factor that supports the development of aerobic organisms such as fungi and mould. With the growth of microorganisms, the integrity of a package is drastically compromised, resulting in discolouration, rancidity, and putrefaction, increasing the possibility of food poisoning. With historical documents, art, and other artefacts, oxygen contributes to rapid deterioration, mildew, mould, and a wide array of other contaminants.

Applications of Oxygen Absorbers

Once the packaging of Oxygen Absorbers is unsealed, it has to be quickly applied in food packaging containers when they are at their highest efficacy. The foods often used with Oxygen Absorbers for freshness have the following characteristics: low moisture (10% or less moisture content) & low oil content.

  • Bread, cookies, cakes, pastries
  • Rice, oats, whole grains, bean
  • Nuts and snacks
  • Candies and confectioneries
  • Dried cake, pastry
  • Tea and coffee
  • Whole dry-fat foods
  • Processed meats, cheeses, and dairy products
  • Dried vegetables and fruits
  • Seasonings and spices
  • Flour and grain
  • Precooked pasta and noodles

How to use Oxygen Absorbers?

When using the Oxygen Absorbers, please note the capacity of the amount of oxygen they can absorb. The capacity of Oxygen Absorbers is measured in CC (cm3), a unit of measurement equal to millilitres (ml). For example, 20 cc = 20 ml. So, 20 cc Oxygen Absorbers will absorb 20 cm3 of oxygen.

Bag Size Refined Grains (sugar, flour, etc.) Pasta and Thicker, Less Dense Foods
6″ x 6″ 20 CC 50 CC
8″ x 8″ 50 CC 100 CC
10″ x 14″ 100 CC 200 CC
10″ x 16″ 150 CC 300 CC
16″ x 18″ 500 CC 1000 CC
18″ x 28″ 750 CC 1500 CC
20″ x 24″ 750 CC 1500 CC
20″ x 30″ 1000 CC 2000 CC

Benefits of Oxygen Absorbers

  • Retains the flavour of coffee and nuts
  • Prevents oxidation of spices and seasoned foods
  • Prevents oxidation of Vitamins
  • Inhibits mould in natural cheeses and dairy products
  • Delays non-enzymatic browning of vegetables and fruits
  • Inhibits oxidation of berries and sauces