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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Survivors!
Quick question for anyone with more food storage experience than myself. I am preparing 4-8 servings of "soup mix" consisting of beans,lentils, barley split peas and the likes. The Mrs has the recipe perfected which includes various scoops of curry, spices and powdered chicken soup stock.
Now to my question...finally, can I vaccuum seal the powdered soup stock and spices right in the the bag with the dry beans and stuff? I know the dry goods will last forever this way but could the soup stock (OXO, Bovril) go bad/rancid and ruin the rest of the mix? Soup stock is very salty so nothing can go wrong.....right?
I only wanted to pre mix everything for convinience but dont wanna risk ruining my foodstuffs. This food would fall into the long term storage category, I plan to vaccuum seal measured servings and put the whole lot in sealed 5 G pails.
Any input would be great!

Thanks,
Chris
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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Rather than vacuum seal--which won't remove all the oxygen--I'd use oxygen absorbers sealed in small mylar bags.

If you do that, stored in a cool, dry place, I'd expect you to get a very long storage life, at least a decade and maybe double that.
 
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Personally I wouldn't risk it. I'd separate as much as possible. Your whole grains are still alive and will last for generations if you vacuum seal. I wouldn't put that much faith in anything else besides maybe your salt. I vacuum seal and use oxygen absorbers as well. The vacuum removes about 90% of the air and the oxygen absorbers remove the rest. I can tell that when I open something the O2 absorber is only slightly used and I can reuse it again by removing a little of whatever and vacuum sealing again. The O2 absorber can be used perhaps three times this way before it is used up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Goose, my intent was to put a small oxy absorber pack in each bag. I just wanna be sure the soup stock is cool before I open a bag of oxy absorbers.
My next question would have to be , am I just wasting my time by not using mylar bags? I was just going to use "foodsaver" bags but then put them in a sealed bucket.
Ill post a picture from my comp at work tomorrow.

Chris,
Thanks you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kinda what im thinking Cchardwick, I would hate to waste otherwise perfect food for the sake of convinience. These packs will be great for hunting and camping, curious to see more opinions about long term.

Thanks
 

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You will be fine using mylar and O2. All of the pre-made long term food storage companies do the same. The others are right as well. Just as easy to mylar a spice mix and add it later. Both are sound as long as you are using powdered chicken stock. Whatever you think is easier for you will work fine without sacrificing your food storage. You will notice that your chicken powder may clump from the amount of moister given off from the O2 absorber. This is normal and I have seen no issues with it in commercial LTS. My pre-made mixes for camping are fine ten years later and we are still using them. :thumb:
 

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I'm not clear why, if you are going to use O2 absorbers, you'd fool around with vacuum sealing.
 

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You can store them together. I don't see a downside to that. But vacuum sealing is only good for fairly short term storage of a couple or three years or so. First off, it doesn't remove nearly as much O2 as an O2 absorber would. And secondly, vacuum bags are not gas barriers and will let air back in over time. If you need to put it away for true long term storage, consider using mylar bags and O2 absorbers.
 

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I vacuum seal and use oxygen absorbers as well. The vacuum removes about 90% of the air and the oxygen absorbers remove the rest. I can tell that when I open something the O2 absorber is only slightly used and I can reuse it again by removing a little of whatever and vacuum sealing again. The O2 absorber can be used perhaps three times this way before it is used up.
The O2 absorbers we use with dry foods contain the moisture required for the oxidation reaction to occur. As these O2 absorbers sit with the dry food long enough, that moisture attempts to reach equilibrium by distributing itself evenly throughout all the food. Which means essentially that the O2 absorber dries out and no longer contains the necessary moisture for the oxidation reaction to occur. Thus no longer functions as an O2 absorber. They're pretty much a 1 shot deal, even if they don't get fully saturated the first time around.
 

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You will be fine using mylar and O2. All of the pre-made long term food storage companies do the same. The others are right as well. Just as easy to mylar a spice mix and add it later. Both are sound as long as you are using powdered chicken stock. Whatever you think is easier for you will work fine without sacrificing your food storage. You will notice that your chicken powder may clump from the amount of moister given off from the O2 absorber. This is normal and I have seen no issues with it in commercial LTS. When I do my own, I throw in a desiccant pack as well as the O2 and mylar packaging. My pre-made mixes for camping are fine ten years later and we are still using them. :thumb:
I hope you're seperating your desiccant and O2 absorbers. Otherwise the desiccant dries out the absorber before it gets the chance to finish it's work. For many years, the advice was not to use them together in food storage. But recently, Sorbent Systems has said that it's ok to use them together if you place the desiccant at the bottom of the food and the absorber on top. This was in reference to 5 gallon bags, so I am not even sure that it applies to smaller packaging.

This is why I always stress packaging foods exactly like the long term food storage companies that have been in business for decades (not the fly by nighters) are doing it. It's easy to make mistakes and sometimes things that "seem like they should work" don't. They have the lab testing behind their methods to prove that they work.
 

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Put your mix in a vacuum bag, seal it. Make enough of these to fill a 3 gallon icing bucket or a 5 gallon flour bucket. Insert correct size of mylar bag, place vacuum bagged items inside the mylar which is inside the bucket, place a large O2 pack inside the mylar. Seal the mylar bag then seal the bucket lid.

How many times have you purchased a rice or noodle mix that already had the powdered cheese and or spice mix in the same box or pouch? Nearly ever time yes? Sometimes you let the item sit on a shelf for months, the mix is clumped a little but when added to boiling water and stirred what happens? It melts away like it should with a little stirring. No need to get all scientific about these types of items. If you are making your soup in small batches, enough for one or two people then dont worry about it, since you arent storing 3 gallons worth of powdered soup base. Youll be fine and so will your blends. Keep them sealed and out of the sun and the coolest place in your home as you can and your items will be alright for at least a decade.
 

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I hope you're seperating your desiccant and O2 absorbers.
Yes , that came off wrong in the above post. I edited it. Thanks for catching that. :eek::
I do use disiccant for for other things.
 

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If you are concerned about mixing the seasonings with everything else, just make tiny bags yourself and seal them seperately and then vacuum pack it all together! You can put in an oxygen obsorber if you want but many people feel this isn't necessary.
I got my foodsaver because I've had nothing but trouble with mylar bags staying sealed!

Rule of thumb seems to be:

Dry food - Oxygen Obsorber
High moisture foods like fruit - Disccant packs
Using both - Don't let them touch!

Mylar Bags or Foodsaver bags, I highly recommend everyone check these regularly.

PS: I got a very good tip on a forum about getting together 1 or 2 buckets that has an assortment of easy eat foods to be able to grab quickly if you have to bug out fast! She also had one bucket ready with supplies to be able to prepare the food with, I thought this was very sensible rather than trying to grab stuff blindlessly in a crisis!
 

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If you are concerned about mixing the seasonings with everything else, just make tiny bags yourself and seal them seperately and then vacuum pack it all together! You can put in an oxygen obsorber if you want but many people feel this isn't necessary.
I got my foodsaver because I've had nothing but trouble with mylar bags staying sealed!

Rule of thumb seems to be:

Dry food - Oxygen Obsorber
High moisture foods like fruit - Disccant packs
Using both - Don't let them touch!

Mylar Bags or Foodsaver bags, I highly recommend everyone check these regularly.

PS: I got a very good tip on a forum about getting together 1 or 2 buckets that has an assortment of easy eat foods to be able to grab quickly if you have to bug out fast! She also had one bucket ready with supplies to be able to prepare the food with, I thought this was very sensible rather than trying to grab stuff blindlessly in a crisis!
Personally I'd learn how to seal Mylar bags properly.

The difference between Mylar and Vacuum bags is like night and day. Mylar being considered an excellent vapor and moisture barrier. Vacuum bags, or any clear plastic is a poor barrier. It's the layer of aluminum that keeps out moisture and air. The outer layer for scuff resistance (Mylar) and an inner layer that heat seals and is food grade.

Here's what Sorbent Systems says about the differences between the two;
http://www.sorbentsystems.com/mylar.html

How Do I Know If I Have The Right Type Of mylar® bag For My Application?

This is an extremely good question. The raw material of bags we recommend for in process ingredient or pharmaceutical product storage were originally designed for exporting packaged dehydrated food products. This bag is 4.5 mils thick and appears to look like aluminum foil, although the top layer is transparent. Long-term food/product storage bags and all high O2 or H2O barrier materials are NEVER transparent.

Another type of mylar® foil with which many consumers are familiar is the "mylar® foil balloon" that is often sold for birthdays and other occasions. The industrial name for the mylar® foil balloon material is metallized polyester. This product is mostly cosmetic and has minimal oxygen barrier properties. We produce custom packages from this film - PAKVF2.5M. (Even PAKVF2.5M is actually 75% thicker than the balloon material!)

Any concerned individual should be very wary of an organization trying to promote "transparent" barrier bags or the shiny metallized polyester material as a barrier bag. IMPAK does produce these bags for certain uses. Long-term product storage should never be one of them and as a consumer you have the right to a fraud claim if you have received such information. Please review our product specifications.

One good example to watch for is the US Military MRE products. The packaging material used to produce the MRE's has a very high oxygen barrier. Often they will specify nylon as the outside layer of the material instead of polyester (mylar®) due to its stronger puncture resistance and oxygen barrier properties. Most of all, you will never see a simple mylar® (transparent) structure or shiny mylar® foil (metallized polyester) structure used for an MRE.

It is imperative to have a good seal on any barrier pouch. We recommend using one of our heat sealers. We provide a range of units from small tabletop models to temperature controlled impulse units that can seal uncoated Tyvek and other specialty materials. Custom or "contour" seal designs are an option.

http://sorbentsystems.com/longtermfoodstorage.html
 
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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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If you are concerned about mixing the seasonings with everything else, just make tiny bags yourself and seal them seperately and then vacuum pack it all together! You can put in an oxygen obsorber if you want but many people feel this isn't necessary.
I got my foodsaver because I've had nothing but trouble with mylar bags staying sealed!

Rule of thumb seems to be:

Dry food - Oxygen Obsorber
High moisture foods like fruit - Disccant packs
Using both - Don't let them touch!

Mylar Bags or Foodsaver bags, I highly recommend everyone check these regularly.
High moisture foods like fruit requires more drying to last long term. It's just too moist and can support mold growth.

And there's a lot more to using an O2 absorber and desiccant together besides not letting them touch. It used to be recommended not to use them together at all. But Sorbent Systems has said it's ok, if one is at the bottom of the food and the other is at the top. Keeping them as far apart as possible. Otherwise the desiccant dries out the absorber before it can finish its job. Even this might not be enough seperation in smaller bags.

And definately check foodsaver bags regularly. They're not a gas barrier and start letting air back in. Vacuum sealing in regular vacuum bags is really only a short term solution. 3-5 years maybe. Though I have had bags let air in within 2-3 years most of the time.
 

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Personally I'd learn how to seal Mylar bags properly.

The difference between Mylar and Vacuum bags is like night and day. Mylar being considered an excellent vapor and moisture barrier. Vacuum bags, or any clear plastic is a poor barrier. It's the layer of aluminum that keeps out moisture and air. The outer layer for scuff resistance (Mylar) and an inner layer that heat seals and is food grade.

Here's what Sorbent Systems says about the differences between the two;
http://www.sorbentsystems.com/mylar.html

How Do I Know If I Have The Right Type Of mylar® bag For My Application?

This is an extremely good question. The raw material of bags we recommend for in process ingredient or pharmaceutical product storage were originally designed for exporting packaged dehydrated food products. This bag is 4.5 mils thick and appears to look like aluminum foil, although the top layer is transparent. Long-term food/product storage bags and all high O2 or H2O barrier materials are NEVER transparent.

Another type of mylar® foil with which many consumers are familiar is the "mylar® foil balloon" that is often sold for birthdays and other occasions. The industrial name for the mylar® foil balloon material is metallized polyester. This product is mostly cosmetic and has minimal oxygen barrier properties. We produce custom packages from this film - PAKVF2.5M. (Even PAKVF2.5M is actually 75% thicker than the balloon material!)

Any concerned individual should be very wary of an organization trying to promote "transparent" barrier bags or the shiny metallized polyester material as a barrier bag. IMPAK does produce these bags for certain uses. Long-term product storage should never be one of them and as a consumer you have the right to a fraud claim if you have received such information. Please review our product specifications.

One good example to watch for is the US Military MRE products. The packaging material used to produce the MRE's has a very high oxygen barrier. Often they will specify nylon as the outside layer of the material instead of polyester (mylar®) due to its stronger puncture resistance and oxygen barrier properties. Most of all, you will never see a simple mylar® (transparent) structure or shiny mylar® foil (metallized polyester) structure used for an MRE.

It is imperative to have a good seal on any barrier pouch. We recommend using one of our heat sealers. We provide a range of units from small tabletop models to temperature controlled impulse units that can seal uncoated Tyvek and other specialty materials. Custom or "contour" seal designs are an option.

http://sorbentsystems.com/longtermfoodstorage.html
Copy and paste much?
 

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Copy and paste much?
If it's important and pertinent, yes.

Lots of people will figure you are blowing smoke, so having reputable sources always helps.

When it comes to long term food storage there are far to many people, including here, that will give out bad advice. Such as vacuum packing for long term storage.

Here's a major company that makes both items saying straight out that plastic, by itself is a poor vapor barrier. Yet we continue to get at least one or two people in every thread saying that's a good way to store food long term when it's not.

Even your suggestion of putting the spices inside a vacuum bag inside the mylar bag isn't very good for the spices. Vacuum packing leaves far more air (and O2) around the spices then if you'd put them in a mylar bag and use a small O2 absorber. Then put everything in a larger Mylar bags and again use a O2 absorber for it. Spices are very delicate and can lose lots of flavor to what O2 is still in the vacuum packed bag. The O2 absorber in the large bag would be ineffective in doing anything to the O2 that is in the vacuum bag.
 
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