Why Does Beef Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber?

07 Feb.,2023


The company has a group of cooperation teams engaged in the charcoal packaging bags industry for many years, with dedication, innovation spirit and service awareness, and has established a sound quality control and management system to ensure product quality.

Oxygen absorbers are used in plastic pouch bags to prevent the growth of fungi and microorganisms which can make the jerky unfit to eat. This is achieved by keeping oxygen levels inside stand up pouches or other packaging close to zero. Aerobic (those who need oxygen to survive) bacteria cannot live in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen. So a lack of oxygen prevents the beef jerky from rotting. For manufacturers and consumers, this means fresher beef jerky which means a longer shelf life.

Vacuum packaging is another method to prevent microorganism growth in a beef jerky pouch, and thus prolong its shelf life. Manufacturers prefer oxygen absorbers because they are more convenient, and can be used with a variety of beef jerky packaging methods. A downside of vacuum packaging is that it cannot be used with foods that are fragile. Even though beef jerky is not fragile and can handle vacuum packaging, the packet looks crumpled when all the air is sucked out. This is not a good look and does not attract customers.

Oxygen absorbers are essentially porous paper pouches commonly filled with iron salts, sodium chloride (common salt), or activated charcoal. Porous pouches allow air to move in and out of the bags. The iron salts inside the packet chemically react with oxygen inside to make iron oxide. Sodium chloride and activated charcoal also undergo a chemical reaction with oxygen. Chemical reactions consume oxygen in bags of jerky, this is how the oxygen is absorbed, creating a dry and safe area for beef jerky. The salts produced after reacting with oxygen are safely kept inside the pouch and they do not react with the meat.

The formulation of materials used inside porous pouches depends on the food they are packaged with, and the water content that the food contains. Oxygen absorbers used with nuts and other dry foods do not need to be as powerful as those used with food products that have some water content. Even for beef jerky, different manufacturers may come up with different oxygen absorbers. The choice depends on a variety of factors, from the type of food to common economics.

Oxygen absorbers do an optimal job of protecting food when they are used in high quality packaging. The smallest leak in the pouch can render oxygen absorbers useless. They are designed to absorb only small amounts of oxygen and are unable to control massive flows of oxygen that result from the leaks.

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