Oxygen Absorbers - Scavengers
What Are Oxygen Absorbers?
Removing oxygen from stored food products will help to preserve shelf life and freshness. Oxygen Absorbers or "Scavengers" as they are called are used to help remove or decrease the available oxygen in the package. There are many types of Scavengers available to cover a wide array of applications.
The components of an Scavengers vary greatly, depending on what it is being used for, the water activity of the product being preserved, and many other factors. Scavengers are primarily made of a mixture of iron powder, sodium and activated carbon (charcoal) Iron powder is the primary component, while sodium acts as an activator, causing the iron particles to rust, effectively reducing the oxygen level in the package to approximately 0.01% when used appropriately. Activated carbon acts as a gas absorbent, further preserving products and removing unsavory odors.
How Scavengers Work?
When a scavenger is removed from its protective packaging, the moisture in the surrounding atmosphere begins to mingle with the iron particles inside packet. As the oxygen molecules from the moisture interact with the iron (Fe) particles, rust begins to develop. Typically, there must be at least 65% relative humidity in the surrounding atmosphere before the rusting process can begin. To remedy this dilemma, sodium is added to the mixture. The sodium acts as a catalyst, or activator, causing the iron powder to rust even with low relative humidity. With the conversion of iron and oxygen into a single iron oxide substance, the presence of oxygen in the packets is dramatically reduced. The performance of scavengers is affected by the ambient temperature and relative humidity. Activated Carbon (C), also called activated charcoal or activated coal, is a highly porous substance that allows gases to pass through and interact with the exposed carbon. As the gases interact with the carbon, most impurities and contaminants are adsorbed and neutralized. As a result, the presence of undesirable odors is greatly reduced.
Why Do I Need Scavengers?
When packaged in a ProVisions Container™, Humidabag™ or Humidicase™ products the oxygen level inside the container is effectively reduced to approximately 0.01%.
Scavengers extend the shelf life of your food, prevent oxidation, mold growth and insect damage. Oxygen supports the growth of fungi and mold so our mission is to reduce as much oxygen as possible in stored food. With the growth of these microorganisms, the integrity of a package is drastically compromised. In food products, discoloration takes place, rancidity and putrefaction set in, and the possibility of food poisoning is a concern.
Scavengers can also be used to preserve jewelry, documents, art, electronics and maps. The presence of oxygen contributes to rapid deterioration, mildew, mold and a wide array of other contaminants.
What size of Scavenger do I need?
cc stands for cubic centimeter and it is a unit of measurement that is equal to milliliters (ml). For example 20cc = 20 ml. So, 200 cc oxygen absorbers will absorb 200 cm of oxygen.