All About Oxygen Absorber Sachet - O Sorb
Oxygen absorbers are essential tools in packaging, designed specifically to remove oxygen from sealed containers. Their primary function is to extend the shelf life of perishable goods, especially food items, by preventing aerobic pathogens’ oxidative degradation and growth.
Freshness and extended shelf life are important, and the role of oxygen absorbers has become increasingly crucial in various industries. This article will share the components and their interaction for optimizing the use of oxygen absorbers and ensuring products remain fresh and free from spoilage for extended periods.
How Oxygen Absorbers Work
Oxygen absorbers function based on a chemical reaction. The primary active ingredient in many of these absorbers is iron powder. When exposed to oxygen, the iron oxidizes, transforming into iron oxide.
This process actively pulls oxygen from the surrounding environment and traps it. Removing the oxygen from a sealed container significantly reduces the oxidation rate for the contained products, thereby prolonging shelf life and preventing spoilage.
- Iron Powder: The primary reactant responsible for oxygen absorption.
- Salt: Often acts as a catalyst, accelerating the reaction between the iron and oxygen.
- Activated Carbon: While not present in all oxygen absorbers, it can help absorb other gases and odours.
- Moisture: A minimal moisture is necessary to initiate the iron’s reaction with oxygen.
- Outer Packaging Material: Typically made from a material that allows the transfer of gases (like oxygen) but keeps the iron and other components sealed.
Benefits and Advantages
Oxygen absorbers play a crucial role in modern packaging, offering tangible benefits that enhance product quality, extend shelf life, and lead to notable cost savings.
Extended Shelf Life of Perishable Products: Extending the shelf life of perishables is a primary benefit of these absorbers. Removing oxygen from sealed containers reduces the oxidation process, enabling products to be stored longer without quality degradation. This is advantageous for manufacturers and retailers, as it broadens distribution opportunities and minimizes the pressure of immediate sales.
Maintaining Food Quality: Oxygen interaction can compromise foods’ taste, colour, and texture. The original flavours are preserved by reducing oxygen exposure, preventing unsightly discolouration. Furthermore, the texture of items, whether preventing them from becoming too dry or retaining unwanted moisture, is better maintained, ensuring a consistent consumer experience.
Prevention of Microbial Growth: Reducing oxygen levels in packaging inhibits the growth of harmful microorganisms like aerobic bacteria, mould, and mildew. These microorganisms can degrade product quality and pose health concerns. Using these absorbers ensures products stay uncontaminated, reinforcing trust in their safety.
Cost Benefits: Financially, incorporating these absorbers in packaging can lead to savings. They reduce product spoilage, meaning less wastage for manufacturers and retailers. The extended shelf life also means less frequent stock replenishments, translating to fewer shipments and associated costs.
Types and Application
Oxygen absorbers come in various types, each tailored to suit specific needs based on their absorption capacity and the intended product type. Understanding these varieties ensures optimal product preservation and avoids unnecessary costs or inefficiencies.
Varieties Based on Absorption Capacity:
- Low-Capacity Absorbers: These are designed to absorb smaller amounts of oxygen, typically suitable for smaller product packaging. They often range from 20cc to 100cc in capacity.
- Medium-Capacity Absorbers: Falling within the range of 100cc to 500cc, these absorbers are ideal for mid-sized packaging needs, striking a balance between performance and cost.
- High-Capacity Absorbers: With capacities exceeding 500cc, these are tailored for larger product containers or bulk storage. Their robust design ensures they handle substantial amounts of oxygen, maintaining product integrity over extended durations.