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Old 06-28-2011, 10:48 AM
getFOODnow getFOODnow is offline
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Default question about O2s



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all the O2s I buy are made in China. they never seem to work. when I take them out of the package and expose them to air, they will warm up just slightly, barely...then when I put them in mylar, the package occasionally will close up, but mostly they dont. its like they arent working.
I have a lot of packages of food in mylar, but only a few of them tightened up, most seem to have air in them.
I doubled, tripled sometimes, the O2 recommended for package size and it still makes no difference.
How do I know if they are actually working or not?
I am in Canada and so didnt want to order O2s from the Usa but if all I can get here are Chinese ones that dont work, maybe I will have to get some good ole USA ones.
my question is, are they supposed to warm up when exposed to air? if they dont, are they bad? if the bag doesnt tighten up, is that proof they arent working?
Old 06-28-2011, 10:58 AM
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They are working. Here's a few things to consider. The 02 packages you get are just iron shavings. When exposed to air, the iron interacts with the 02 and rusts. So, one misconception is that when you seal up an 02 absorber...that the mylar bag will suction in because the absorber is removing all the oxygen. Not so....

1) It's only removing the oxygen; not nitrogen, which is 78% of the air. True, the mylar bag will "suck in" a little...but not a lot. Plus, the 02 absorber is converting the oxygen into rust so it's not like "matter disappears" inside the bag (i.e., law of conservation of matter).

2) The 02 absorbers don't get really warm...not like hand warmers that you use when you go skiing or camping. Those hand warmers have wood shavings and other material in there to increase the heating factor from the iron that is exposed. So, you might hold an 02 absorber and think to yourself...I thought this thing was going to get really, really warm (like a hand warmer). They don't. They get warm...but it's not like it's going to keep you warm on a cold night or anything. And to be honest...you want that. You want the 02 absorber to slowly pull oxygen because it gives you a few minutes to seal up the bag.

Having said all that...this is your food storage! If you don't like your 02 absorbers, then definitely make a change. Your life may depend on this so don't skimp on doing it right the first time. If something doesn't feel right - then you're probably right. Plus, peace of mind is worth its weight in gold...so buy another brand and test them out. Use 8 or 9 of them to store with food, and keep one out and hold it in your hand. If it gets significantly warmer than the other one your skeptical about...seems to me you found your culprit.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:27 AM
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Funny how you didnt want to order US made ones but were quite eager to order from the Chinese, perhaps your question stems from not being able to read the language on the package eh?
Old 06-28-2011, 03:15 PM
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I didnt order them from China, I ordered them from the only place I know of in Canada to get them, and they I guess bought them from China. I will look for american made ones from now on.
Old 06-28-2011, 03:27 PM
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"the package occasionally will close up" - after you fold up the excess mylar bag, into the bucket headspace, it should be fairly empty of air ...... not really anything to observe "closing up" ......

Best way to close up the bag is to seal everything but one corner ...... fold the bag into the bucket pushing out the excess air ...... iron close the open corner last
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:55 PM
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Most of the ones in America aren't from here either. I know that most of mine came from Japan or Korea.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:24 PM
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There are very few 02 absorbers made in the US. I know of one brand, and I'm not convinced they are not being imported regardless as the manufacturer is a multi-national. There is one company that is in the beginning stages of manufacturing absorbers in California after buying an old trademark, but after buying a pallet of them, I ended up returning over 25% due to imperfect vacuum.

I would guess the absorbers you have opened are doing their job, as very few companies stay in business selling a product that doesn't perform, especially in the food packaging industry. The ones we sell, if left in package but opened, can get to over 150 degrees. One poor lady said she almost burnt her hand picking up an opened package after forgetting about them and coming back 4 hours later. We also perform occasional testing on absorbers, and for example many 300cc absorbers have ranged from 350-900cc total actual absorption. (Many companies over-rate their absorbers to account for repack and usage time)

There is no doubt that you may come across some bad absorbers now and again, so I think your best bet to increase your comfort level is to actually test them in more controlled conditions than actual food packaging. If you're interested I can describe an experiment some folks use to test them. I might even try to set it up for a Youtube video.

Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:28 PM
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Throw in a hot-hands instead.
Old 06-28-2011, 11:55 PM
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ok thanks so much everyone for your replies and advice. you helped me.
Old 06-28-2011, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinthenurse View Post
Throw in a hot-hands instead.
Very poor advice. While they work on the same principle, the heaters are designed for maximum heat production, not maximum O2 reduction. And the lower the O2 the better for food storage.

Food storage is NOT the place to try to save a few pennies by using improvised solutions. Package it exactly like the long term food storage companies are doing it. They're doing it right and have laboratory testing behind them to prove it.

It's surprisingly easy to make serious mistakes in food packing by doing something that "seems like it should work".
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
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Very poor advice. While they work on the same principle, the heaters are designed for maximum heat production, not maximum O2 reduction. And the lower the O2 the better for food storage.

Food storage is NOT the place to try to save a few pennies by using improvised solutions. Package it exactly like the long term food storage companies are doing it. They're doing it right and have laboratory testing behind them to prove it.

It's surprisingly easy to make serious mistakes in food packing by doing something that "seems like it should work".
Worked for me.......
Old 06-29-2011, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinthenurse View Post
Worked for me.......
Or did it?

What's the O2 level in your bags? If you used O2 absorbers, then it would be .02% or whatever they're rated at. But with handwarmers what is it? 5%? There's no way to know. What's the capacity of the handwarmer? With O2 absorbers you know you're using the right capacity for the job at hand.

How much moisture do they contain? O2 absorbers come in all sorts of formulations, specific to the job they will be doing. Some are designed for working in a vacuum, some are not. Some are designed for working in a moist environment. The ones we use that are designed for dry environments contain their own moisture, which is released as they work. This can cause mold in foods that are only borderline such as dry dogfood. A handwarmer contains it too because it works in a dry environment. But it migh contain extra moisture to keep the heat production going longer. This may cause problems, especially if you use extra ones to compensate for not knowing their capacity.

The fact that there are specific formulas of O2 absorbers is a clue. Just as an O2 absorber doesn't make a good hand warmer. There's nothing to lead us to believe that a hand warmer would make a good O2 absorber.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:14 AM
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I am looking to purchase some o2 absorbers... does anyone have experience with these vendors??? or the items they sell???

http://www.sorbentsystems.com/order_...FeVx5QodoFbvbQ

they also have these "tell-tabs" which let you know how much o2 is present, almost like litmus paper, might be a good feedback mechanism for whether or not the "hot hands" solution is actually working.

http://sorbentsystems.com/tell-tab.html
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:13 AM
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We have used them a ton and they were our original supplier for many items; good products, but iffy customer service. If you check out our site we should be less expensive for just about anything you can get at Sorbent (when including shipping), including the Tell-Tabs, after the coupon in my signature. If we're not, drop me a note and I guarantee we will be.=)
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:05 PM
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We have used them a ton and they were our original supplier for many items; good products, but iffy customer service. If you check out our site we should be less expensive for just about anything you can get at Sorbent (when including shipping), including the Tell-Tabs, after the coupon in my signature. If we're not, drop me a note and I guarantee we will be.=)
Dang A&B... that was fast... got shippment notice within 90 minutes of of ordering!!!! your prices were definitely lower too
Old 06-29-2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefunkymxw View Post
I am looking to purchase some o2 absorbers... does anyone have experience with these vendors??? or the items they sell???

http://www.sorbentsystems.com/order_...FeVx5QodoFbvbQ

they also have these "tell-tabs" which let you know how much o2 is present, almost like litmus paper, might be a good feedback mechanism for whether or not the "hot hands" solution is actually working.

http://sorbentsystems.com/tell-tab.html
That's where I get mine. I got a batch from them that had air in it, it had a seal but the vacuum wasn't right. I called them up and the lady on the phone couldn't apologize enough. She sent me a replacement right away.

They arrived 3 days later. The UPS guy told me there was a note in the shipping instructions that he had been asked to wait for me to open the package to inspect the contents and for me to seal the return in the box and he would take them.

In the box was a return UPS lable and tape. I got an email from them 3 days later telling me they got the returned absorbers.

WOW. I was impressed. Yup I get mine from sorbent systems.
Old 06-29-2011, 01:11 PM
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Dang A&B... that was fast... got shippment notice within 90 minutes of of ordering!!!! your prices were definitely lower too
Thank you sir, we do our best to fulfill our orders same day up to about 3:30pm!=)
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefunkymxw View Post
I am looking to purchase some o2 absorbers... does anyone have experience with these vendors??? or the items they sell???

http://www.sorbentsystems.com/order_...FeVx5QodoFbvbQ

they also have these "tell-tabs" which let you know how much o2 is present, almost like litmus paper, might be a good feedback mechanism for whether or not the "hot hands" solution is actually working.

http://sorbentsystems.com/tell-tab.html
Sorbent is the 'retail' end of Impak, one of the major manufacturers of 'Mylar' and other bags.
http://www.sorbentsystems.com/about.html
Sorbent Systems is the online presence of Impak Corporation, founded May 1993. We are located in Los Angeles, CA.

We are a manufacturer and retailer of desiccant and packaging products for private and corporate use worldwide.



What they truly lack is a good web interface to purchase items.
But their products are top of the line. Many of the retailers here and across the internet get their stuff from them.
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