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Why Do We Use Desiccants In Food Storage

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Desiccants are small packets which are kept inside food containers to keep food freshWhen I told my mom about molds developing in cookies even inside containers, she quickly bought me a packet of desiccants and asked me to start using them immediately. I wondered why do we use desiccants in food storage – how can these small packets help to keep food fresh and safe from pests? 

A little internet search helped me to know why using desiccants in food storage is so important. Desiccant is a unique substance  which has hygroscopic properties  that  helps to soak water vapor from surrounding air. This substance is usually available in small packets and kept in places where food is stored so that it is able to soak excess moisture helping to keep food crisp and fresh. If you are using desiccants, you do not have to worry about cookies and wafers getting soft during the rainy days when there is too much of moisture in the atmosphere. Here is some more information on the use of desiccants and their importance in food storage. 

Purpose of desiccants: These packets help to dry out air by slowly removing water vapor from air which occurs naturally. These help to extend the shelf life of several products which includes crackers, butter cookies and chips which normally get stale quickly.

In fact these desiccants are used mainly to keep food items fresh. You must have observed that when it rains heavily or when the weather is cloudy or humid, you will find that cookies and chips are getting soft and stale faster…this happens because these goodies start absorbing moisture very quickly as a result they become soft and stale. You bite such goodies with an expectation of crunchiness but you soon realize that it is soft as a cake…if you wish to get rid of this, you need to start using food desiccants.

There are many types of desiccants and you can use them as per your needs. You can choose between silical gel, clay desiccants and molecular desiccants. When you are using these desiccants you have to remember that since they absorb a lot of water vapor and moisture from the atmosphere, you have to replace them as soon as possible or else they will not function as you wish them to.

You should always keep any extra packs of desiccants in a sealed container, until you are using them. This will ensure that they are not used up because if you keep them in the open they will absorb the moisture which is present in the air and you won’t be able to use them when you actually need them because they will be full.

Image courtesy: amazon.com

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