While owner of AlpineAire Foods in the early 1990’s, I conducted significant research and study into the excellent and very effective technology of oxygen absorbers. Developed in Japan, oxygen absorbers insure a very low residual oxygen level in appropriate storage containers. Through this research and the development at AlpineAire foods, I brought the large scale use of oxygen absorbers into the emergency food and outdoor recreational foods industries.
At that time the goal to achieve for the canning of shelf-stable dried foods was a residual oxygen level of 2% or below. This was the level required by military specifications for long term foods. Oxidation and an atmosphere inhibiting microbial growth were significantly reduced at these low levels. The military specified the #10 can for their long term storage of dried products. By utilizing the appropriate size oxygen absorber, the residual oxygen levels could be reduced to 0.1% or less – a significant drop in oxygen levels.
The premier manufacturer of oxygen absorbers, and the one I use, is Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. which produces the “Ageless” brand oxygen absorber. While there are numerous types of absorbers for varied packaging conditions, the appropriate “Ageless” absorber for use with dried foods is type Z.
It is important to note that oxygen absorber sachets were designed to be used by industrial manufacturers and packers of food products with the necessary expertise in working with the absorbers. While simple to use, if not handled properly or sized correctly you have wasted your time and money and have not achieved the expected outcome. I have seen and heard of numerous situations where individuals have inappropriately utilized oxygen absorbers and they will unfortunately not accomplish the results anticipated. If you are going to use these devices, I recommend following the instructions in this article and talk to those who are educated in their proper use.