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Oxygen Absorbers vs. Desiccants

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We have received a handful of questions regarding oxygen absorbers and desiccants. We understand there could be a slight confusion between the two but the most important thing to remember is:

Oxygen absorbers absorb oxygen

Desiccants absorber moisture

We won’t go too much into oxygen absorbers, as we have already written about them in the past, but the main point of oxygen absorber packets (OAP) is that they absorb oxygen, not air or moisture.

Use this easy guide to determine how many OAPs you will need,

Desiccants are used to absorb moisture. Moisture can build inside your storage container through temperature shifts, condensation from the humidity in the air during the initial fill-up of your container, or from the moisture contained in the food itself. Moisture can cause damage to stored products both directly and by supporting growth of mold and other organisms. Desiccants buffer the moisture level and helps preserve many things like food products, clothes, firearms, electronics, and anything else that could become damaged.

There are 2 kinds of desiccants and it is important to know which one to use for your situation. Traditional silica gel desiccants are not appropriate for all situations as it is acid-processed and chemically synthesized. Clay desiccants, such as PackFreshUSA’s Food-safe Desiccants, are natural and composed of a special clay called diatomaceous earth. They are non-toxic, acid-free, environmentally-friendly and their effectiveness is revolutionary. PackFreshUSA’s Food-safe Desiccants outperform the absorbing capability of silica gel for storage times over 20 hours. Moisture is absorbed through a one-way, dust-free Tyvek bag, protecting from moisture damage, mold, insects, and other organisms. In addition to superior performance, you can feel secure knowing you are preserving with a safe, environmentally-friendly desiccant.

Should you use OAP and desiccants at the same time?

If OAPs are sealed in a package with desiccants some thought should be given to just how low the relative humidity will drop. Desiccants can reduce relative humidity to very low levels, which might adversely affect your absorber’s ability to carry out its mission. OAPs do carry a small amount of moisture that is necessary to sustain the oxidation reaction. If you do decide to use a desiccant and OAP in the same package, place the desiccant on the bottom, fill the package and then place the OAP on top of the food just before sealing.

Below is a helpful chart that provides an easy determination of how many grams you will need per container size,

Please keep in mind that desiccants should not be used in powdered food items such as salt, sugar, flour, etc. These ingredients require a certain amount of moisture to stay activated and if a desiccant is added they will become rock hard bricks.



Get started with long term food storage today!


Buy Oxygen Absorbers

Buy Desiccants


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