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Old 02-27-2010, 10:35 AM
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Default Using hand warmers as 02 absorbers



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I noticed I was nearly out of 02's today and I have a few buckets to seal today (beans/pasta) and I found this video on using hand warmers instead on 02 absorbers.

I ran out and bought a few some and they give you 6 huge packets for $1.28.

The contents: Iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and vermiculite.

Here's the video I found, the guy is a little weird but what you you all think?

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Old 02-27-2010, 10:41 AM
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This may sound dumb, but I am not familiar with these 02 absorbers. So is this saying that you can use 02's, or hand warmers to store stuff in because they keep out the oxygen, or something else? lol Sorry.
Old 02-27-2010, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by PAbackwoodsman View Post
This may sound dumb, but I am not familiar with these 02 absorbers. So is this saying that you can use 02's, or hand warmers to store stuff in because they keep out the oxygen, or something else? lol Sorry.
You use O2 absorbers when storing dry goods like rice, beans, corn etc.. in mylar bags in 5 gal buckets for long term food storgae. No reason to be sorry We're all here to learn man.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by PAbackwoodsman View Post
This may sound dumb, but I am not familiar with these 02 absorbers. So is this saying that you can use 02's, or hand warmers to store stuff in because they keep out the oxygen, or something else? lol Sorry.
Yes, exactly. The biggest enemy of food is oxygen, you can store rice, beans, pasta, sugar etc in 5 gallon #2 food quality buckets with 02 absorbers for years...maybe decades if done right.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by OhioMan View Post
I noticed I was nearly out of 02's today and I have a few buckets to seal today (beans/pasta) and I found this video on using hand warmers instead on 02 absorbers.

I ran out and bought a few some and they give you 6 huge packets for $1.28.

The contents: Iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and vermiculite.

Here's the video I found, the guy is a little weird but what you you all think?

YouTube- Oxygen absorbers, There dirty little secret exposed
Wow! Thanks! Great to now and will be used! I am going to raid my hand warmers and seal something right now! LOL
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:15 PM
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This. Is. Awesome.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:09 PM
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Hand warmers won't reduce the O2 down to the levels that a proper O2 absorber will. They're designed to work in a higher O2 atmosphere. They even had to design special boot warmers because of having to operate at lower O2 levels enclosed in boots. There were tests done back in the 90s comparing their effectiveness to O2 absorbers and they came up short. I would never trust them for food storage.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:10 PM
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I'm surprsied I've never heard about this before.....is there any down side to using these??

anyone???
Old 02-27-2010, 02:12 PM
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Hand warmers won't reduce the O2 down to the levels that a proper O2 absorber will. They're designed to work in a higher O2 atmosphere. They even had to design special boot warmers because of having to operate at lower O2 levels enclosed in boots. There were tests done back in the 90s comparing their effectiveness to O2 absorbers and they came up short. I would never trust them for food storage.
LOL....I was waiting for your response!!!

I thought there had to be something more to this...seemed to easy
Old 02-27-2010, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
Hand warmers won't reduce the O2 down to the levels that a proper O2 absorber will. They're designed to work in a higher O2 atmosphere. They even had to design special boot warmers because of having to operate at lower O2 levels enclosed in boots. There were tests done back in the 90s comparing their effectiveness to O2 absorbers and they came up short. I would never trust them for food storage.
Im trying it out right now. I packed up some corn masa in a mylar bag. Tossed in a hand warmer and heat sealed it. Ill let everyone know in a day or so how it looks. It has been about 3 hours and the bag is still giving heat off. I can feel it through the mylar.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
Im trying it out right now. I packed up some corn masa in a mylar bag. Tossed in a hand warmer and heat sealed it. Ill let everyone know in a day or so how it looks. It has been about 3 hours and the bag is still giving heat off. I can feel it through the mylar.
Without a way of testing the percentage of O2 left, you're not going to get meaningful info. There is a threshold level where food can be safely stored and over that, oxidation can occur, bug growth can flourish, etc. Hand warmers will indeed bring down the O2 level, but the test results I saw back in the 90s, showed it didn't bring it down into the safe zone. The results are probably up on Walton Feed's info archive if they still have it going.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:46 PM
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LOL....I was waiting for your response!!!

I thought there had to be something more to this...seemed to easy
LOL yeah, there's always something, isn't there? I looked into this back when I started putting food away in buckets because I had a ton of hand warmers and no O2 absorbers. It used to be a frequent topic of conversation on the newsgroup misc.survivalism which I frequented back in the days before websites were common.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:34 PM
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There is a way of testing o2 absorbers, You take a pint or quart bottle and tape a new o2 absorber to the bottom on the inside. You then set the bottle upside down in a pan of water and leave it for 24 hours. The oxygen absober will creat a vacuum sucking the water up into the bottle. Mark the high water mark and you have a guage to use to check the hand warmers.

But I am betting the hand warmers do not work as well. Be carefull not to cover too much of the absober with tape, a little glue on the back works well.

If you have old O2 asborbers you can check one with the gauge to see if they are still good.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:45 PM
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I did (2) buckets with hand warmers....so if I have to barter some food
Old 02-27-2010, 08:33 PM
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Im trying it out right now. I packed up some corn masa in a mylar bag. Tossed in a hand warmer and heat sealed it. Ill let everyone know in a day or so how it looks. It has been about 3 hours and the bag is still giving heat off. I can feel it through the mylar.
OK I just checked on the mylar and I can tell that some of the air has been removed. The hand warmer went cold after 5-6 hours . It was a 10 hour warmer. So that must mean either:
A) the oxygen content was used up before the warmer ran out
or
B) there wasn't ENOUGH oxygen left to keep the oxidation process going for the hand warmer to create heat.

I know it isn't scientific or anything. But I am going to trust it and leave it sealed as such for long term. It was a pretty big warmer for a Potato chip size bag.
Old 02-28-2010, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by OhioMan View Post
Yes, exactly. The biggest enemy of food is oxygen, you can store rice, beans, pasta, sugar etc in 5 gallon #2 food quality buckets with 02 absorbers for years...maybe decades if done right.
I was at the LDS Cannery last month and they told me not to use O2 absorbers in sugar. They said I would have a solid block. Has anyone got any info on this?

The LDS Cannery sells O2 absorbers for $8.00 per 100.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by homesteader1 View Post
I was at the LDS Cannery last month and they told me not to use O2 absorbers in sugar. They said I would have a solid block. Has anyone got any info on this?

The LDS Cannery sells O2 absorbers for $8.00 per 100.
I may be wrong but pure sugar probably has an indefinite shelf life anyway, since it will not support microbial growth. While I've read that it has a shelf life of 2+ years; I have read that it has an indefinite shelf life from many other sources.

http://stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18441
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homesteader1 View Post
I was at the LDS Cannery last month and they told me not to use O2 absorbers in sugar. They said I would have a solid block. Has anyone got any info on this?

The LDS Cannery sells O2 absorbers for $8.00 per 100.
Yep, that's right and don't store sugar in glass. Don't use the 02 absorbers with salt, either.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:31 PM
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It's my understanding that both white and brown sugar when stored in containers, have a practical shelf life of many, many years.

http://www.chsugar.com/Consumer/faqs.html#q01
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
OK I just checked on the mylar and I can tell that some of the air has been removed. The hand warmer went cold after 5-6 hours . It was a 10 hour warmer. So that must mean either:
A) the oxygen content was used up before the warmer ran out
or
B) there wasn't ENOUGH oxygen left to keep the oxidation process going for the hand warmer to create heat.

I know it isn't scientific or anything. But I am going to trust it and leave it sealed as such for long term. It was a pretty big warmer for a Potato chip size bag.
Oxygen absorbers don't remove air. They remove oxygen from air. You would not see a reduction in air volume of a sealed container from an oxygen absorber alone. Oxygen absorbers do not create a vacuum.

Plus, you added a lot of unnecessary heat to your food which will cause it to degrade faster...

Call me crazy, but I like to know that the food I might depend on is going to be edible. I'll stick with O2 abs for my food and leave the hand warmers in my pockets!
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