Does Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber?

Does Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber?

Does jerky packaging need an oxygen absorber?

At Pouch Me, this is a question we get asked a lot by jerky enthusiasts, and jerky manufacturers and small businesses while working with them to develop the best jerky packaging.

Proper packaging is crucial for beef jerky, no matter what packaging format you choose, not just for aesthetics but for preserving its freshness, taste, and overall quality.

One of the key components in this packaging is the often overlooked oxygen absorber, which works in tandem with dehydration.

What is it, and does jerky packaging need an oxygen absorber? Before we discuss, let's look at why we need to dehydrate food in the first place.

Why Dehydrate Food?

One of the most common methods the food processing industry uses is the dehydration of the food.

The entire process of dehydration works in a certain way that we pull out moisture completely out of the source in order to extend the shelf life of the food to prevent a favorable environment for microorganisms to thrive.

Does Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber - dried oranges

Known to be one of the most popular and old methods which were used in the preservation of food, the dehydration business has been going on for a very long time.

Dehydration stands as one of the most ancient techniques employed for food preservation. It finds its roots in the practices of prehistoric communities, who harnessed the power of the sun to desiccate seeds.

Across the globe, various cultures demonstrated their mastery of this method: North American Indians adeptly sun-dried meat slices, while the Japanese, with their ingenuity, harnessed dehydration for fish and rice.

Does Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber - dried fish

Mostly meat products and dairy products go through the entire process of dehydration  This guarantees best quality and a truly longer shelf life.

For example, beef jerky is one of the most common items that are created in the food processing industry with the help of dehydration. You can choose from several methods to increase the beef jerky shelf life.

History of Jerky Preservation

Long before the age of modern packaging, our ancestors sun-dried their meats, relying on the natural elements to preserve their food.

As time evolved, so did the methods of preserving jerky.

From salt curing to smoking, the quest for the perfect preservation method has been relentless. This is also why we now are questioning does jerky packaging need an oxygen absorber.

Let's break down the situation more clearly now.

Understanding Oxygen Absorbers

Enter the oxygen absorber, a game-changer in the world of food preservation.

These tiny sachets, often found quietly lying low in your jerky packaging, contain ferrous iron oxide.

This non-toxic chemical is a magnet for oxygen, sucking it out from its surroundings, ensuring that the jerky remains as fresh as the day it was packed.

What Are The Reasons to Use Oxygen Absorbers in Jerky Packaging?

The Threat of Oxygen to Beef Jerky

Oxygen, while essential for our survival, can be a real menace when it comes to preserving food items like beef jerky.

Exposure to oxygen can lead to the growth of aerobic bacteria and fungi, which can deteriorate the quality of the jerky, making it unsafe for consumption.

The Role of Oxygen Absorbers

Oxygen absorbers play a pivotal role in countering this threat.

As mentioned earlier, these small packets contain iron powder.

Does Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber - iron oxide

When the iron powder reacts with the oxygen present in the package, it forms iron oxide, a reddish-brown pigment.

This chemical reaction effectively reduces the oxygen level inside the package, ensuring the jerky remains fresh and tasty.

Extending Shelf Life with Oxygen Absorbers

The Lifespan of Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is loved for its long shelf life. It's also the reason why so many people bring it on-the-go everywhere as a reliable snack.

However, this can be compromised if the jerky is exposed to oxygen.

The presence of oxygen can lead to the growth of fungus and aerobic bacteria, which will spoil the jerky.

Oxygen Absorbers to the Rescue

By using oxygen absorbers in the packaging, the available oxygen that gets inside the packaging is reduced significantly, preventing the growth of these harmful organisms.

This not only ensures that the jerky remains safe for consumption but also extends its shelf life, allowing your customers to enjoy their favorite snack for longer. This also allows you to lengthen the time you can also market and sell your products safely.

Understanding The Packet Inside Beef Jerky Packaging

Now that we know what that small packet is inside your jerky package, let's explore how it functions and serves its purpose.

Aerobic bacteria, by their nature ("aero"), require oxygen to survive and thrive, which happens to be the very conditions that oxygen absorbers effectively establish. As the iron powder keeps the contents free from harmful aerobic bacteria and fungi, it does reach a saturation point.

After the iron powder has undergone oxidation and achieved full rusting, the absorber reaches a "loaded" state, causing the absorption process to cease. If you take the absorber out of its packaging, the reaction comes to a halt, only to resume when the absorber is reintroduced.

Oxygen Absorbers vs. Other Preservation Methods

While vacuum sealing has its merits, it's not the knight in shining armor for jerky.

Vacuum sealing might remove air, but it can't compete with the efficiency of oxygen absorbers.

And then there are desiccants, those little packets that control moisture.

But remember, desiccants aren't oxygen absorbers. They manage moisture, not oxygen.

Let's look at some other jerky preservation methods that don't use oxygen absorbers:

Preservation MethodHow to do it
Cure the Jerky ProperlyUse the right amount of salt and curing agents to prevent the growth of bacteria and microorganisms.
Properly Dry and Cool the JerkyAfter curing, ensure proper drying and cooling to remove remaining moisture and prevent mold growth.
Use DesiccantsFor short-term storage (1 to 3 months), employ airtight containers with food-grade desiccants to maintain consistent moisture levels and limit water concentration.
Vacuum Seal the JerkyFor long-term storage, vacuum seal jerky in vacuum bags to retain moisture and prevent air exposure, extending preservation to well over 12 months.

One Important Factor: Does Jerky Packaging Need An Oxygen Absorber?

Let's talk fat. Jerky, especially the delicious kind, has fat.

And where there's fat, there's a risk of rancidity.

Oxygen absorbers reduce this risk by creating an environment where bad stuff, like botulism, can't thrive.

So, if you're munching on jerky, thank that little sachet for keeping things safe.

Practical Tips for Using Oxygen Absorbers in Jerky Packaging

So, you're convinced about the magic of oxygen absorbers. But how do you use them?

First, choose the right size. Too small, and it won't do its job. Too big, and you're just wasting resources.

Once you've got your absorber, ensure your jerky package is sealed tight.

Remember, these absorbers are champions in a sealed environment.

Flexible Film Packaging Pouches and Their Role

Now, let's dive into the world of flexible film packaging pouches.

These pouches, with their high barrier properties, are custom-made for jerky. They ensure that external factors, like moisture and air, stay out, while the goodness of the jerky remains locked in.

The Magic of High Barrier Custom Jerky Pouches

High barrier custom jerky pouches are the unsung heroes in the world of jerky packaging.

These pouches, often made of flexible laminates, ensure that the jerky remains untouched by external elements.

Think of them as the protective shield, guarding the jerky against the world.

Flexible Laminates: The Guardian of Fresh

Flexible laminates, with their multi-layered structure, provide an added layer of protection.

They ensure that the jerky remains fresh, retaining its flavors and textures.

So, the next time you enjoy a piece of jerky, remember the role of these laminates in ensuring its perfection.

Reusability and Disposal of Oxygen Absorbers

Can You Reuse Oxygen Absorbers?

A common question among jerky lovers is whether these oxygen absorbers can be reused.

As mentioned earlier, oxygen absorbers function through the oxidation of a fine metallic dust, essentially causing it to rust, a process that is irreversible.

When all available oxygen has been absorbed, the reaction ceases, but it can be reactivated upon reintroduction to the air.

While some oxygen absorbers come in various forms and designs that allow for reuse, it is crucial to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and dried before their next application.

Reusing activated oxygen absorbers is discouraged, as they cannot be restored to their original state. Therefore, it is advisable to utilize fresh oxygen absorbers for food preservation.

Always consult your provider to confirm the details of your oxygen absorbers.

Disposing of Oxygen Absorbers

When it comes to disposal, it's essential to be environmentally conscious. These packets can be disposed of with regular trash. However, ensure they are kept away from children and pets as they are not edible.

In the grand scheme of jerky packaging, oxygen absorbers play a pivotal role.

They ensure that the jerky remains fresh, free from bacteria, and delightful with every bite.

Combined with the protective shield of flexible film packaging pouches and the magic of flexible laminates, jerky lovers can rest easy, knowing that their favorite snack is in safe hands.

So, to answer the burning question: Yes, jerky packaging does need an oxygen absorber. And with the combined might of high barrier custom jerky pouches and flexible laminates, jerky has never tasted better.

Reap all the benefits and advantages and sell your jerky most efficiently by getting started with professional jerky packaging with our free consultation.

We can help you finalize your jerky artwork for your custom jerky bags and provide the best pricing so you can enjoy a big competitive advantage once you get started or even if you simply need to update your packaging.

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