Oxygen Absorbers for Long Term Food Storage

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What Are Oxygen Absorbers?

Oxygen absorbers are made of a chemical compound, the active ingredient of which is a powdered iron oxide. Our absorbers are completely safe. While they are not edible, they are not toxic. No harmful gases are created and the oxygen does not remove the fresh smell and taste of the product.

What Do Oxygen Absorbers Do?

Oxygen Absorber Packets remove oxygen from airtight containers to below 0.01%, according to Food Industry standards, when used as directed. Upon exposure to air, iron in the packet immediately absorbs oxygen and breaks it down into harmless iron-oxide which is safely contained in the packet and does not contaminate the food.

What Type Do I Need?

There are several different formulations depending on whether food is frozen, refrigerated or destined for long-term storage. The absorbers we sell are all suitable for long-term storage of dried foods.


The most critical component for evaluation is the water activity level (AW). All dry grain, legumes, milk powder, pasta products and other dehydrated foods have very low water activity levels.

The second most critical component is the volume of residual air in the bucket or container: a bucket full of spiral pasta contains a much greater volume of air than does an identical bucket filled with rice or wheat. We sell a size of absorber expecially sized for high-residual-air-volume items like pasta, noodles and pet food.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Oxygen Absorbers?

  • Extends shelf life
  • Prevents growth of aerobic pathogens and spoilage organisms, including molds
  • Eliminates the need for additives such as BHA, BHT, sulfur dioxide, sorbates, benzoates, etc
  • Significantly improves keeping qualities of polyunsaturated fats and oils
  • Helps retain fresh-roasted flavor of coffee and nuts
  • Prevents oxidation of spice oleoresins present in spices themselves and in seasoned foods
  • Prevents oxidation of vitamins A, C and E
  • Extends life of pharmaceuticals
  • Use with gas flushing / vacuum packaging to absorb virtually all oxygen and absorb any oxygen that may permeate the package.

Typical Applications:

  • Flour and grain items
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Dried fruits and vegetable
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Nuts and candies
  • Coffee and tea
  • Whole fat dry foods
  • Pharmaceuticals and vitamins
  • Medical diagnostic kits and devices
  • Birdseed and pet food
  • Artwork and book preservation

Food Preservation

How much oxygen absorbent capacity do you need for standard containers?

We recommend 1500 cc’s of oxygen absorbing capacity for 5 and 6 gallon pails, however if there is a high air volume in the bucket (think pasta, noodles, pet food), you’ll want to use 2000 cc's of oxygen absorber. Thus, for 1500 cc's you could use 5 individual 300 cc packets, or 3 individual 500 cc packets. For 2000 cc's you could use 4 of the 500 cc oxygen absorbers or you could 1 of our 2000 cc oxygen absorbers. You can’t ‘over-do’ – meaning that you can use a 2000 cc absorber in a 5 or 6 gallon pail even if it is a lower air volume item such as wheat, rice or oats.


We also sell 11" x 60" mylar bags for storing rifles and other long guns, to keep them from getting rust or corrosion. You would use 2000 cc oxygen absorber with these bags.

These oxygen absorbers are working within minutes of the package being opened. When packaging food for long-term storage, you should use the entire contents of one sealed vacuum packet bag within 30 to 60 minutes. If you know that you will be unable to use the entire quantity, set those packets aside in a small, clean, and dry glass jar with a secure screw-top lid. (A jam or pickle jar will work fine.) THE ABSORBERS WILL STAY GOOD IN THIS JAR FOR UP TO 3 MONTHS!

For a one gallon mylar bag or one gallon jar, we recommend using one 300 cc oxygen absorber.


For a one quart mylar bag or 1 quart canning jar, we recommend using one 50 cc oxygen absorber. You can also use the 50 cc oxygen absorber with the "pint size" mylar bags (they are approximately a pint size).

It is a good idea to write on the outside of the bucket that contains the oxygen absorbers something like: "Discard oxygen absorber after opening. Do not eat." (What if your dear old Aunt Alice found it and thought it was the ‘spice packet’ in the grains? Won’t hurt her if she ate it, but better to let folks know to get rid of it.)

2000 cc Oxygen Absorbers 500 cc Oxygen Absorbers 300 cc Oxygen Absorbers 50 cc Oxygen Absorbers
For food such as pasta, with a high residual air volume, you want to use this size oxygen absorber. Use one per 5 or 6 gallon bucket. Will also work fine for wheat, rice, oats, etc. Use 2 packets per 5 gallon bucket of wheat, rice, whole oats and other items that do not have a high residual air volume. It is OK to use 1 of the 2000 cc size oxygen absorber with these grains as well. Use one for each #10 can, gallon or ½ gallon canning jar or equivalent size. You can also use a number of these in a larger container, depending on residual air volume. Use one for each quart or pint size mylar bag or canning jar. You can also use a number of these in a larger container, depending on residual air volume.
Packets in Bag: 20
(20 pkts = 10 pails, high residual air volume or not)

Packets in Bag: 50
(50 pkts = 16 pails @ 1500 cc, no high residual air volume)

Packets in Bag: 50
(50 pkts = 16.6 cases qt jars or 50 1-qt mylar bags)

Packets in Bag: 50
(50 pkts = 16.6 cases qt jars or 50 1-qt mylar bags)