Oxygen Absorbers VS. Desiccants

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If you’re just getting started in food storage, you need to learn about oxygen absorbers and desiccants. They both help you preserve food longer. However, oxygen absorbers and desiccants work in two totally different ways.

What is an oxygen absorber?

An oxygen absorber or oxygen scavenger is a substance that helps to remove or decrease the level of oxygen in a package. Oxygen absorbers are also helpful in maintaining product safety and extending the shelf life. They often come as small, enclosed packets or sachets. Oxygen absorbers can be a separate component or a part of the packaging film or structure.

The composition of an oxygen absorber varies depending on the intended use, the water activity of the product that it is intended to preserve, and some other factors. Typically, modern oxygen absorber packets use a mixture of iron powder and sodium chloride. However, it often includes activated carbon because it can absorb some other gases and organic molecules. This helps to preserve the food further and remove odors.

oxygen absorber

What is a desiccant?

The main purpose of desiccant is to dry and absorb water literally. Absorb the water in the product packaging and give the product a dry environment, so that the product will not rust and mold. Common sense in life Many things can be kept for a lot longer in dry conditions. Desiccant is usually used in electronic products, household items, upholstered furniture, wood products, woven products, leather goods, machinery, glass and other daily necessities and industries.

What is the difference between an oxygen absorber and a desiccant?

The key difference between an oxygen absorber and a desiccant is that oxygen absorbers absorb oxygen but not moisture, whereas desiccants can absorb moisture. Moreover, oxygen absorbers are typically made of iron powder and salt, whereas desiccants are made of an amorphous and porous form of silicon dioxide.

Can oxygen absorbers be used with desiccants?

No. Oxygen absorbers and desiccants should not be used in the same container. Oxygen absorbers need moisture in order to absorb oxygen. Oxygen absorbers contain iron powder. The moisture in the atmosphere causes the iron to rust. As the iron rusts or oxidizes, it absorbs oxygen. By removing the moisture from the environment through desiccants, you will be rendering the oxygen absorber ineffective.

desiccant

In conclusion

To maintain the humidity level in the packaging, it is recommended to use an Oxygen absorber.  It will ensure extended freshness with the proper packaging. On the other hand, to enhance the life span of food products, desiccant helps reduce the humidity level in the food or other packaging, prolonging shelf life. For any more questions, please kindly contact us directly.

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