It's important to use oxygen packs, or oxygen absorbers as they're also known, when vacuum-sealing your fruit and vegetables after dehydrating and conditioning.
Tuck a 100cc oxygen absorber inside the vacuum bag just before you vacuum seal it, or drop an oxygen absorber in the mason jar just before screwing on its lid.
If you're using a small jar, use a 50cc oxygen absorber.
The oxygen absorbers protect dry foods from insect damage and extend the shelf life by preventing mold growth which eliminates the need for additives like BHA, BHT, and sorbates, etc. The oxygen packs are non-toxic, which is good to know, as they are in-contact with our food!
These little oxygen absorbers are readily available in different sizes, such as the 100cc, 300cc, and 2000cc. The reason for different sizes depends upon what size container your dehydrated foods are placed in.
For a 10" x 14" Mylar bag, use a 300cc oxy-pack (very top photo).
When the 100-pack of oxy-packs first arrives, BEFORE OPENING IT or putting it away, I'll immediately check for the little pill in the bag. It MUST BE PINK. If it's BLUE/PURPLE ... that's not good.
It turns BLUE/PURPLE when the pill has absorbed oxygen, therefore telling you that the contents of the shipment are probably no-good. So before you OPEN that shipped package, check for a pink pill. If it's blue/purple, return that shipment unopened for a replacement order!
If the pill is good, I'll open the new 100-pack bag, and take out 5
quart-size vacuum-sealer bags. Place 20 oxy-packs from the 100-pack bag
into each of the quart-size vacuum-sealer bags, and immediately vacuum seal
So I now have five quart-size bags with 20 oxy-packs in each of them.
The pink pill from the original bag can go into one of the five bags – no need to throw it away, we can use it up! The reason for doing this is because I don’t want to continually open and seal the same bag to take out one or two oxy-packs, it would soon ruin the other oxy-packs with air infiltration before we even get a chance to use them!
When I'm ready to use an oxygen pack, I simply cut along the bottom of the seal at the top of the bag, as shown here, by the white dashed line. Cut as straight as you can and as close to the old seal as you can – then I remove as many packets as I need and put them in the dehydrated food bags that are waiting to be vacuum sealed.
Then straight away, I'll re-vacuum and seal the oxy-pack bag (see photo). I can re-seal an oxy-pack bag about four times ... and if I've any remaining packets and the bag gets 'too short' to reseal, I'll put those remaining packets into a new bag and vacuum seal it!
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