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Old 12-10-2014, 10:58 PM
Nitefire1 Nitefire1 is offline
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I started using a food saver for our own dehydrated foods, then switched to Mylar bags, I now have a tank of hydrogen & am planing on using Mylar with the air sucked out with the food saver attachment then put in hydrogen. (like a video I have seen.) I just used a hot specialty iron(not made for mylar) before on the Mylar but I am wondering what is the best way to seal the Mylar and do I still need oxygen absorbers with nitrogen?
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:08 PM
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O2 absorbers do a far better job of removing O2 than gas flushing does. So for now, I'd stick with using them instead of the nitrogen. Save the nitrogen for use after the SHTF when you may want to preserve home dried foods.

As I constantly stress, do it like the food storage companies that have been in business for decades (NOT the fly by nighters!) are doing it, and you know it's being done right. They use O2 absorbers rather than gas flushing.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:40 AM
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O2 absorbers do a far better job of removing O2 than gas flushing does. So for now, I'd stick with using them instead of the nitrogen. Save the nitrogen for use after the SHTF when you may want to preserve home dried foods.

As I constantly stress, do it like the food storage companies that have been in business for decades (NOT the fly by nighters!) are doing it, and you know it's being done right. They use O2 absorbers rather than gas flushing.
I was in the packaging industry for close to 20 years. During that time I visited most large food manufactures in the US and Canada.


Gas flush is used with most products that have too short of a shelf life. Probably the most common flushed products are Cheese and Nuts. The higher end snack food companies flush their products.

Gas flush works best with VFFS (vertical form fill seal), Co2 is heavier than Ox. If you want to properly flush a bag, you need to have the bag standing up, and you need a lance that extends to the bottom of the bag, below the food you're flushing. It's important to flush from the bottom up! You also need a decent regulator on your Gas tank, too much pressure will cause turbulence, which tends to pull air back into the bag.

The lance needs to be withdrawn from the bag without disturbing the food, and you need to seal the bag the instant the lance clears the sealing area. Squeeze or tilt the bag before the top is sealed, and start from scratch.

In the packaging industry, they use oxygen analyzers to measure O2 levels.

I have never seen O2 absorbers used in food products.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:50 AM
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I started using a food saver for our own dehydrated foods, then switched to Mylar bags, I now have a tank of hydrogen & am planing on using Mylar with the air sucked out with the food saver attachment then put in hydrogen. (like a video I have seen.) I just used a hot specialty iron(not made for mylar) before on the Mylar but I am wondering what is the best way to seal the Mylar and do I still need oxygen absorbers with nitrogen?
Nitrogen purging is tricky. You must displace every bit of the oxygen and not allow any back in when you seal it. That takes precision factory equipment. Jostle the bag just a little bit and the whole process is ruined because of the gas exchange.

And you get nothing for all that effort and expense compared to just using O2 packs. That's why most of the LTS food packers switched from nitrogen packing to using O2 scrubbers years ago. There are a few legacy LTS companies still using nitrogen urge but that is because they already invested in the gear and have chosen not to pay the expense of changing their assembly lines. But once those old packing lines become too great an expense to keep running they will switch to the new method.

But for you the nitrogen is simply an extra expense and a liability. O2 scrubber packs actually need a certain amount of oxygen inside the bag to activate. They will remove all the oxygen but there needs to be some in there to begin with to catalyze the process. If you nitrogen purge then the O2 packs might not have enough oxygen to catalyze and since you are likely to disturb the bag while sealing it you will just end up with new oxygen in the bag but not enough to start the O2 pack off. But that little bit will still start the rot process anyway. You would be adding an extra step and expense to do a worse job.

Skip the nitrogen purge idea. If you already have a tank then go replace the air in your vehicle tires with it. It will help the tires last just a wee bit longer.

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I have never seen O2 absorbers used in food products.
Look in a Mountain House or LDS can sometime.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:55 AM
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You didn't say what size bags you're using, but putting a hunk of dryice(it's frozen nitrogen)and an oxygen absorber in the bag before vaccuming and sealing.
6556-haven't you tried Wise brand ? Their packages all come with an 02 absorber. Most other brands of dehydrated and freeze dried do too.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:57 AM
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You didn't say what size bags you're using, but putting a hunk of dryice(it's frozen nitrogen)and an oxygen absorber in the bag before vaccuming and sealing.
6556-haven't you tried Wise brand ? Their packages all come with an 02 absorber. Most other brands of dehydrated and freeze dried do too.
Dry ice packing has the same problem as nitrogen purging.

And we never talk about Wise foods politely here.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:03 AM
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Dry ice packing has the same problem as nitrogen purging.

And we never talk about Wise foods politely here.
I've had good luck putting the dryice and absorber both in right before I vac and seal-must be just enough 02 to activate it, then the nitro fills the bag and "poofs"it just a little.
Sorry about the comment about "Those who shall not be named"LOL.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:33 AM
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You didn't say what size bags you're using, but putting a hunk of dryice(it's frozen nitrogen)and an oxygen absorber in the bag before vaccuming and sealing.
6556-haven't you tried Wise brand ? Their packages all come with an 02 absorber. Most other brands of dehydrated and freeze dried do too.
dry ice is frozen co2, not nitrogen.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:51 AM
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putting a hunk of dryice(it's frozen nitrogen)
Frozen nitrogen would be chilly. Its been a while since I have worked on the LIN carts so the exact number escapes me, but nitrogen stays liquid below -300 degrees (Fahrenheit).
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:27 AM
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Frozen nitrogen would be chilly. Its been a while since I have worked on the LIN carts so the exact number escapes me, but nitrogen stays liquid below -300 degrees (Fahrenheit).
-320.44 to -346 at which point it becomes a solid.

You would not actually want to use liquid nitrogen any way. You'd want GAS. Liquid nitrogen spilled on anything....instant frozen. Hit it, it shatters basically. Extremely dangerous.

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Old 12-11-2014, 06:09 AM
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I've had good luck putting the dryice and absorber both in right before I vac and seal-must be just enough 02 to activate it, then the nitro fills the bag and "poofs"it just a little.
Sorry about the comment about "Those who shall not be named"LOL.
It might work like you say but how can you know for sure? You would have to wait years and then go have a lab test for O2 levels.

Using just the O2 pack does the job and the results are visible. The bag sucks in and if it stays that way then you know the bag seal is holding. The sucked-in appearance is your best way to monitor how good the bag seal is holding years down the line.

I don't know of a LTS food packer that uses both gas replacement and O2 scrubbers at the same time. Everyone used to use nitrogen purge and then when O2 packs came out they began shifting over one by one.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:21 AM
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The amount of energy people will expend to use methods of food storage which have been shown to be sub-standard when performed in a home environment is absolutely fascinating.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:35 AM
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Is that tank hydrogen or nitrogen? Because you used both words. I'd suggest not using it if it's hydrogen or you could have a small scale Hindenburg on your hands.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:41 AM
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I was in the packaging industry for close to 20 years. During that time I visited most large food manufactures in the US and Canada.


Gas flush is used with most products that have too short of a shelf life. Probably the most common flushed products are Cheese and Nuts. The higher end snack food companies flush their products.

Gas flush works best with VFFS (vertical form fill seal), Co2 is heavier than Ox. If you want to properly flush a bag, you need to have the bag standing up, and you need a lance that extends to the bottom of the bag, below the food you're flushing. It's important to flush from the bottom up! You also need a decent regulator on your Gas tank, too much pressure will cause turbulence, which tends to pull air back into the bag.

The lance needs to be withdrawn from the bag without disturbing the food, and you need to seal the bag the instant the lance clears the sealing area. Squeeze or tilt the bag before the top is sealed, and start from scratch.

In the packaging industry, they use oxygen analyzers to measure O2 levels.

I have never seen O2 absorbers used in food products.
And what you saw done was to only extend the shelf life of food a few months. Most of the food industry isn't interested in long term storage. Because there's far more money if they sell you the same stuff over and over again.

Only a few specialty businesses are concerned with long term storage. And almost all of them have gotten away from nitrogen purging and use O2 absorbers.

But even the beef jerky packs are packed nowadays with O2 absorbers. Even raw meats are packed using them. These are slightly different then the ones we recommend but similar enough that you should have seen them by now. Or buy some freeze dried foods and see if they don't come with O2 absorbers. Even the canneries of the LDS have switched over to O2 absorbers.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 6556 View Post
I was in the packaging industry for close to 20 years. During that time I visited most large food manufactures in the US and Canada.


Gas flush is used with most products that have too short of a shelf life. Probably the most common flushed products are Cheese and Nuts. The higher end snack food companies flush their products.

Gas flush works best with VFFS (vertical form fill seal), Co2 is heavier than Ox. If you want to properly flush a bag, you need to have the bag standing up, and you need a lance that extends to the bottom of the bag, below the food you're flushing. It's important to flush from the bottom up! You also need a decent regulator on your Gas tank, too much pressure will cause turbulence, which tends to pull air back into the bag.

The lance needs to be withdrawn from the bag without disturbing the food, and you need to seal the bag the instant the lance clears the sealing area. Squeeze or tilt the bag before the top is sealed, and start from scratch.

In the packaging industry, they use oxygen analyzers to measure O2 levels.

I have never seen O2 absorbers used in food products.
That's for shelf stable foods such as nuts and chips. Not long term storage foods designed to last many years. There is a big difference. Those same chips and nuts will be rancid in a couple years. They simply are not designed to store long term.

And yes, you have seen O2 absorbers used in food products. Every opened a pack of jerky? That packet inside is an O2 absorber, not a desiccant.

The long term storage foods industry moved away from gas flushing many years ago. The few reputable firms that still use it, do so in conjunction with vacuum flushing, which is something home users are not equipped to do.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mels thinkingitover View Post
The amount of energy people will expend to use methods of food storage which have been shown to be sub-standard when performed in a home environment is absolutely fascinating.
It never ceases to amaze me. Especially when it's so easy to simply drop an O2 absorber into a mylar bag and seal it, like the professional companies with decades of experience and lab tests that prove their methods work, do.

But it's like a plague of bad advice every time someone asks a question around here. I fully expect someone to say a bay leaf is all that's needed, or that you can use a lit candle to remove all the air before sealing. We've seen these dopey suggestions before too.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:19 PM
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I am usually a religious follower of Mikek however on this subject I will back up 6556. My Issue and concern here is that there are many "resellers" of oxygen absorbers that take a sheet of oxygen absorbers and separate them and repackage them with fewer oxygen absorbers into smaller packages with fewer oxygen absorbers in them.

I understand that it might be more reasonable to assume a customer will use ten and waste the other 134 on the sheet of 144 oxygen absorbers, however, my issue is that once the original package of oxygen absorbers has had its seal broken, the oxygen absorbers have started its process of absorbing oxygen and that the oxygen absorbers will be less efficient and possibly non functional when you use them.

The process of using Nitrogen gas is both simple and efficient. It is also legal and reasonably priced. You will know it has been done correctly immediately when you do it.

First of all, you go to a supplier of medical or welding gasses, you buy a small tank of Nitrogen, just like you would buy a tank of propane for your BBQ Grill.

You also buy a cheep low pressure balloon regulator (the cheap ones like what comes on the helium tanks you buy and throw out for balloon fills at kids parties).

Place a tube over the black rubber flex valve of the balloon filling regulator and place the other end of the tube in the bottom the Mylar bag containing the food item you want to purge of any oxygen so the bugs and other critters cant breathe and breed in your food (rice for example). After all we do not want to eat food that the bugs have eaten out of and had s_x in, do we?

Since Nitrogen is heaver than Oxygen, the Oxygen will naturally flow out the top of the Mylar bag as you are adding Nitrogen to the bottom of the Mylar bag.

To check to see when the Oxygen has been properly purged out of the Mylar bag, you just lower a lit Bic lighter into the top of the open Mylar bag. When the lighter goes out at the top of the Mylar bag, there is no longer any Oxygen all the way to the top of the Mylar bag to support the flame, bugs and other critters.

Then pull out the tube from the Mylar bag, fold over the top of the Mylar bag push out any excess Nitrogen you wish to remove and heat seal the Mylar bag with a curling iron or what ever you use.

NOW YOU KNOW YOUR FOOD IS SAFE AND YOU CAN SPLIT THE COST OF THE TANK, AND FILL, AND REGULATOR WITH ANY OTHER PREPPER FRIENDS IN YOUR GROUP OR SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS!

FYI if you are near by me, I will assist you with my tank for cheap cheap cheap (just enough to compensate me, basically for a fill / refill for the portion of the gas you use).
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:32 PM
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dry ice is frozen co2, not nitrogen.
OK, my bad-not sure why I always thought it was nitro- I do know that I've got bags of a number of things that I sealed 5 to 7 years ago and they haven't grown bugs yet.
I've also dropped a chunk of dryice into 5gal buckets and let it melt to push the air out with similar good results.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:00 PM
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I am usually a religious follower of Mikek however on this subject I will back up 6556. My Issue and concern here is that there are many "resellers" of oxygen absorbers that take a sheet of oxygen absorbers and separate them and repackage them with fewer oxygen absorbers into smaller packages with fewer oxygen absorbers in them.

I understand that it might be more reasonable to assume a customer will use ten and waste the other 134 on the sheet of 144 oxygen absorbers, however, my issue is that once the original package of oxygen absorbers has had its seal broken, the oxygen absorbers have started its process of absorbing oxygen and that the oxygen absorbers will be less efficient and possibly non functional when you use them.

The process of using Nitrogen gas is both simple and efficient. It is also legal and reasonably priced. You will know it has been done correctly immediately when you do it.

First of all, you go to a supplier of medical or welding gasses, you buy a small tank of Nitrogen, just like you would buy a tank of propane for your BBQ Grill.

You also buy a cheep low pressure balloon regulator (the cheap ones like what comes on the helium tanks you buy and throw out for balloon fills at kids parties).

Place a tube over the black rubber flex valve of the balloon filling regulator and place the other end of the tube in the bottom the Mylar bag containing the food item you want to purge of any oxygen so the bugs and other critters cant breathe and breed in your food (rice for example). After all we do not want to eat food that the bugs have eaten out of and had s_x in, do we?

Since Nitrogen is heaver than Oxygen, the Oxygen will naturally flow out the top of the Mylar bag as you are adding Nitrogen to the bottom of the Mylar bag.

To check to see when the Oxygen has been properly purged out of the Mylar bag, you just lower a lit Bic lighter into the top of the open Mylar bag. When the lighter goes out at the top of the Mylar bag, there is no longer any Oxygen all the way to the top of the Mylar bag to support the flame, bugs and other critters.

Then pull out the tube from the Mylar bag, fold over the top of the Mylar bag push out any excess Nitrogen you wish to remove and heat seal the Mylar bag with a curling iron or what ever you use.

NOW YOU KNOW YOUR FOOD IS SAFE AND YOU CAN SPLIT THE COST OF THE TANK, AND FILL, AND REGULATOR WITH ANY OTHER PREPPER FRIENDS IN YOUR GROUP OR SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS!

FYI if you are near by me, I will assist you with my tank for cheap cheap cheap (just enough to compensate me, basically for a fill / refill for the portion of the gas you use).
Again with the lit flame? That's a poor indicator of all oxygen being removed, since a flame goes out at around 10% O2 in the air. Unless you flush and purge in a vacuum containment chamber there's just no good way to ensure you'll remove ALL the oxygen when purging.

10% or .02% oxygen when using a O2 absorber?

I'm not really going to get into the O2 lighter then N2 since we find both fairly well mixed in a 80/20% proportion in our atmosphere. Because if what you said were true those of us at sea level would have no O2 while those at the top of mountains could possibly be breathing pure O2.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:17 PM
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Since Nitrogen is heaver than Oxygen, the Oxygen will naturally flow out the top of the Mylar bag as you are adding Nitrogen to the bottom of the Mylar bag.
Leaving a great deal of air "bubbles" in between and underneath the food particles. This is why vacuum flushing is a critical step in gas flushing for long term storage. Otherwise you have a LOT more O2 in the bag than you would with O2 absorbers. There are lab tests out there that back this up.

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To check to see when the Oxygen has been properly purged out of the Mylar bag, you just lower a lit Bic lighter into the top of the open Mylar bag. When the lighter goes out at the top of the Mylar bag, there is no longer any Oxygen all the way to the top of the Mylar bag to support the flame, bugs and other critters.
Absolutely incorrect. The Bic lighter lets you know that there is less than about 10% of O2 in the bag. Because that's about where fire stops burning. This exactly the same as the person who suggested burning a candle to get rid of "all" the O2 that I mentioned in my previous post. A flame stops burning well short of there being "no" O2 left. There can still be plenty left to oxidize the food.

O2 absorbers can reduce that down to a fraction of a percent. Straight gas flushing cannot. Not without the vacuum flush step. Even then, O2 absorbers do a better job.

And once again, which is why I constantly stress doing it the same way the long term food storage companies are doing it. They have lab testing and decades of experience to prove that their methods work.

It's these little things that are so easily, and often, overlooked. Food storage is too critical to try to cut corners on. Especially considering mylar and O2 absorbers are just not that expensive. It's like stepping over a dime to pick up a penny.
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