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Prepping & Survival

The Best Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

When it comes to food storage, you’re going to need some stuff. And we’re not just talking about food- you need food storage containers, various ways to preserve the food, and shelves and racks to store the food. But one little workhorse stands out when it comes to increasing and maintaining shelf life: the oxygen absorber. And the best oxygen absorbers will make it all reliable and easy. There are several options to consider when it comes to oxygen absorbers: absorption time, absorbent material, versatility, etc.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best oxygen absorbers, tested each of them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade option. If you need to keep your food from spoiling over the long term, one of our recommendations will keep you fed.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

FreshUS Oxygen Absorbers

The Best Oxygen Absorber

FreshUs

Small, Lightweight, and Effective

Slightly smaller and lighter than the competition but equally effective with higher quality standards.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Stash your food like a pro with the lightest and smallest effective oxygen removal solution for your food storage. This makes it ideal for homemade MREs or any other food you preserve for on-the-go use. These absorbers are competitively priced and used by many recognized brands- you’ve probably even pulled some out of a pack of jerky before. They are packed 10 into a bag with oxygen indicators, and they absorb oxygen relatively slowly which can be forgiving when you are packing up your food.

Here is how they measure up:

  • 300cc packets
  • 10 bags of 10 packets (100 total)
  • Oxygen indicator in each bag (10)
  • 1.6 pounds total weight

Trusted by industry professionals, FreshUs Oxygen Absorbers are the best choice out of all of the competition.

Auhanth Oxygen Absorber

Budget Oxygen Absorber

Auhanth

Single-use, Inexpensive, and Effective

A budget absorber gets the job done with a little more planning since there are more packets per bag.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

The main drawback of these budget absorbers is that they are packed in bulk, so you will need to be able to package your food quickly and/or reseal them in a small airtight container. They are bulkier than some of our other picks and absorb oxygen relatively quickly.

Here are the specs:

  • 300cc packets
  • 5 bags of 20 packets (100 total)
  • Oxygen indicator in each bag (5)
  • 2 pounds total weight

Pick up Auhanth Oxygen Absorbers to effectively preserve your food on a budget.

Wallaby Oxygen Absorbers

Upgrade Oxygen Absorber

Wallaby

Resealable, High-Quality, and Long Lasting

The brand to beat for food storage materials makes it easy with the highest quality oxygen absorbers.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Wallaby makes all food storage easy with their solutions, and oxygen absorbers are no exception. You can easily match up the absorber size (cc) with their vacuum bags and mylar heat seal bags with their convenient product table. They also thought through the packaging, with a resealable bulk pack and ten individual bags inside with oxygen indicators. The quality is great and they have an awesome customer service team if you have any issues (which we found rare in our research).

Here are the details:

  • Resealable zippered storage bag
  • 300cc packets
  • 10 bags of 10 packets (100 total)
  • Oxygen indicator in each bag (10)
  • 1.8 pounds total weight

If you are looking for the best of the best, pick up Wallaby Oxygen Absorbers to make long-term food storage easy.

Everything We Recommend

FreshUS Oxygen Absorbers

FreshUs

Slightly smaller and lighter than the competition but equally effective with higher quality standards.

Where to Buy

$12* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Auhanth Oxygen Absorber

Auhanth

A budget absorber gets the job done with a little more planning since there are more packets per bag.

Where to Buy

$10* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Wallaby Oxygen Absorbers

Wallaby

The brand to beat for food storage materials makes it easy with the highest quality oxygen absorbers.

Where to Buy

$18* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Oxygen Absorbers We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to the several absorbers that we tested: FreshUS, Wallaby, OxyFree, Harvest Right, Oxy-Guard, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We focused on food-grade oxygen absorbers exclusively and narrowed down our testing to a common size (300cc) for comparison purposes. Most of the brands we encountered offer a wide range of sizes for a variety of applications. We did not consider desiccants, since those absorb moisture (not oxygen) and are for different applications.

We’re always looking for new and better equipment, so if you have an oxygen absorber that you swear by let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually, so we can always get it in the next roundup round and see if it makes the cut and we can see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best oxygen absorbers have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Absorbent Material
  3. Absorption Time
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a reliable absorber that will give your sealed food an enormous shelf-life. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the oxygen absorbers that set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a bag of oxygen absorbers shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. Don’t go overspending or overdo it. Budget according to your risk and your needs rather than just spending lavishly.

On the flip side, you don’t want to go too cheap or just plain get the wrong thing. A bunch of silica gel desiccants you save from around the house are completely the wrong thing and will not save you money when they let your food spoil. Get the correct tool for the job.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially something like food storage accessories. It’s better to diversify your preparedness gear to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios. There is a sweet spot where you get high value with not-to-high of a price, which is where our top pick sits.

Absorbent Material

The main way oxygen absorbers work is with a permeable package containing iron powder.

The iron powder has a lot of surface area depending on how fine it is, and the oxygen causes a chemical reaction with iron that we are all familiar with: rust. As the iron ‘oxidizes’ and rusts, it traps oxygen.

All oxygen absorbers use this but have varying quality in manufacturing and varying size of the iron powder. There can also be additives to increase or decrease the iron powder exposure to affect absorption time and capacity. This is also something to consider with the absorber pouch material, which the oxygen has to get through before it can be trapped by the iron.

Absorption Time

Oxygen absorbers take about 4 hours to absorb their rated oxygen when they are sealed- faster when left in the open.

Different types of pouch material can affect this absorption time since it can let oxygen in faster or slower based on the material’s permeability.

Size & Weight

With oxygen absorbers so light, thin, and small most people don’t consider the size and weight unless they are mass-producing sealed food with low water content.

Even still, lighter, thinner, and smaller packet oxygen absorbers are slightly better for transporting- whether you are doing it in mass or have a few sealed in your bug out bag MREs.

Versatility

Versatility with oxygen absorbers is tied to how they are packaged in bulk. Small-capacity oxygen absorbers (like 100cc) are versatile because they can contribute to a wide range of storage sizes. They work with small sealed cans and mylar bags and can also work with food storage buckets if you add enough of them to cover the volume.

The downside, of course, is that they are more expensive and can be tedious to sift through when you actually need the food. Getting a range of oxygen absorber sizes can help with this and is the optimal solution.

How to Use Oxygen Absorbers

Oxygen absorbers are simple to use and just require a little planning in order to put the correct size with your food (or absorbers that total the correct size).

WARNING: Do not use oxygen absorbers with high-humidity foods (>10%) due to the risk of botulism toxins.

Here is the Provident Prepper duo showing how to use our upgrade pick:

Who Needs Oxygen Absorbers?

Oxygen absorbers are cheap solutions to extend food shelf life. Everyone needs food stability, and stored food with a long shelf life is a major component of that.

Oxygen absorbers should be considered for your food storage, which is also an integral part of the broad:

They are especially useful if you have bulk food storage, a vacuum sealer, a heat sealer, a dehydrator, and/or a freeze dryer.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best oxygen absorber is useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical military and prepping experience:

Cichello, S. (2015). Oxygen absorbers in food preservation: a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology. Volume 52. Pages 1889–1895. (Source)

Mexis, S., et al. (2012). Shelf life extension of ground chicken meat using an oxygen absorber and a citrus extract. LWT – Food Science and Technology. Volume 49. Issue 1. Pages 21-27. (Source)

Berenzon, S., et al. (1998). Oxygen Absorbers for Extension of Crackers Shelf-life. LWT – Food Science and Technology. Volume 31. Issue 1. Pages 1-5. (Source)

The Final Word

Food storage is a continuous journey, and oxygen absorbers are a key resource that can help you on that journey. Getting the right ones for the job can take a little know-how upfront, but they are easy to use once you figure out how much food you are storing, your storage method, and which containers you will use.

Here are a few related articles our readers have also found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the FreshUs Oxygen Absorbers to be the best option given their value, absorbent material, absorption time, profile, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.


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The Best Oxygen Absorbers



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