Have you ever wondered what those little packs that you find in food packets, electronics goods, etc. are? They’re called desiccant packs. Learn more about them in this article.
Excessive moisture in air, condensation, as well as odors are problems faced by many manufacturers, distributors as well as dealers. This moisture is harmful for the products as it can cause corrosion, mold, mildew, and fungal or bacterial contamination. This leads to damage to the product or spoilage of food, leading to loss in revenue. Therefore, many industries now use desiccant packs that help absorb moisture from air. These bags contain substances that help remove moisture from the surrounding air. So, when a product is sealed in an air-tight package, it helps create a low-humidity environment within the package, thus preventing corrosion and mold. They also help reduce odors, and instead dispel mild fragrances in the package. What’s more, these are reusable packs that can be rejuvenated easily by placing in a microwave oven for 2 to 4 minutes. If you do not have a microwave, just place them in sunlight for a day, and they’ll be as good as new.
There are different types of packs available for different products like foods, electronics, clothes, etc.
One of the most commonly found packs is the silica gel variety. It has a high crush strength as well as high porosity. It can absorb moisture at temperatures below 25°C and relative humidity above 40%. Silica gel is chemically inert, non-corrosive and non-toxic, and is therefore used for food.
Indicating Silica Gel
Indicating silica gel is similar to regular silica gel. The only difference is it is not chemically inert as it tends to change color to indicate moisture content.
A molecular sieve has a great capacity to absorb water. It is better than the silica or clay varieties. It absorbs water uniformly and can even absorb organic odor molecules.
Montmorillonite is a naturally occurring mineral used to control moisture content in air. It does not swell after absorbing moisture and can easily dispel it.
Activated charcoal is used to absorb organic molecules and sulfur-containing compounds. It helps in removing volatile molecules and odor from surroundings.
Precautions for Food
Caution must be exercised before using desiccant bags in packaging grains, beans, and other food products. Silica gel packs are approved by the FDA for food and drug products. So you can use them to store dried foods, grains, beans, etc. You can even place them in containers and not worry about any reaction or toxicity.
As you can see, desiccant bags are very useful in protecting products like cameras, mobile phones, electronic gadgets, and even food from moisture in the air. They even absorb odor from organic products and leave the product smelling fresh. You can use these packs to store cash, protect guns, and even for ammo and weapon storage. They can prevent tarnishing of gold and silver products. You can place them in your tool box to prevent rust, corrosion, oxidation, etc. of tools. Because they are reusable, they remain viable for years on end.