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60 - 1 Gallon ShieldPro Mylar Bags (10"x14") & 60 - 300cc Oxygen Absorbers (In packs of 20) For Dried Dehydrated and Long Term Food Storage - Food Survival
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- GREAT PROTECTION: Our bags are hundreds of times more protective against oxygen and moisture than any clear vacuum or poly bag.
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These ShieldPro Mylar bags combined with oxygen absorbers, when stored in a rigid container, have proven to be the ideal way to store dehydrated goods for long-term storage. Mylar bags protect your food investment from the effects of oxygen, moisture contamination, and light penetration. They are excellent for the long-term storage of dehydrated foods because they have a FDA approved sealant layer and can be heat sealed with a standard clothing iron on the wool setting, or a hair straightener. Simply add the dehydrated food to the mylar bag, place appropriate number of oxygen absorbers on top, and push out as much residual air as possible before sealing the bag.
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Long-term storage requires protection from insects, rodents, moisture, oxidation, heat, and light. Based on their initial performance, I believe these bags and oxygen absorbers will be effective against insects, moisture, and oxidation. The bags are not light proof, and no mylar bag will protect against rodents.
Because they aren't lightproof, food stored in these bags needs to be kept in a dark environment. The 5-gallon plastic pails often recommended are also not lightproof and will not protect food stored in these bags. Lining the pail with aluminum foil would exclude the light.
I am a beginner at food storage, so I bought these as a low-investment option to start with. I bought 60 bags and 60 oxygen absorbers from Advice & Beans, fulfilled by Amazon. The bags mic to 3.5 mils, and the oxygen absorbers came in 3 bags of 20 with pink indicators.
I used the first pack of 20 oxygen absorbers to bag up 50 pounds of rice and 50 pounds of pinto beans. When I managed to squeeze out most of the air before sealing, my bags tightened up as if they were vacuum packed. See the picture I uploaded. Overall, I am satisfied.
More robust bags (4.5 to 7 mil) have thicker aluminum layers that will provide total light protection and better overall performance. I will probably graduate to that kind of product now that I feel more confident in my ability to pack and seal correctly.
These are not as thick as some bags. For me they were an added protection for my rice and beans. They help stop the damage form light, moisture, and oxygen. They will also keep bugs out of the food.
I am also making meals on the go bags. We hike and camp often. I will be making rice meals that only need hot water added to it.
I bought 1 gallon sized bags in addition to the 5 gallon sized. I started by filling the 1 gallon bags with about 5lbs of long grain rice as a test. I decided that since I have a vacuum sealer that the best thing for me to do to conserve the oxygen absorbers was to transfer them into a new sealed pouch upon opening them rather than going the mason jar route which would mean they would lose a little extra absorbancy each time I opened it (more oxygen to filter). So after opening the o2 baggie and quickly placing two absorbers into my rice-filled mylar bag, I sealed the remaining o2 absorbers up in a vacuum sealed bag (they come with a visible color-changing oxygen gauge as well which is nice).
Side note: For those who do not know, oxygen absorbers work by forcing oxidation, or the process of rusting which consumes oxygen. This works in the same way as those hand warmers you see everywhere in the winter (in places that get cold during the winter). Yes, the o2 absorber gets warm in the bag.
Moving back to my experience... Once I sealed all the o2 absorbers up with my vacuum sealer, I then proceeded to close up the 1 gallon mylar bags of rice. I flattened out the top of the bag and pushed out as much air as I could by hand. I turned my iron up as high as it would go and began to iron the bag closed. I quickly realized that I was melting some spots on the bag and turned it down until I found a comfortable setting that would seal the bag without melting it (note, do not use steam!). The second bag sealed flawlessly with my new setting. I repeated this process with the bulk rice I purchased bagging up 25lbs of rice in a 5 gallon mylar bag. I put this bag into a 5 gallon bucket, placed a metal level across the top of the bucket to use as a makeshift ironing board, and ironed about 80% of the large bag shut. I turn added in a large o2 absorber, resealed the absorbers with the same process as the smaller ones and then repeated the process of removing as much air as possible and finishing up the seal on the 5 gallon bag. The larger bag in the bucket was much more challenging to seal and I couldn't get as much air out as I wanted before sealing it up, but it sealed nonetheless.
Many people wonder about knowing if the o2 absorber is doing its job. The expectation is that as the o2 is absorbed, the bag will shrink-wrap to the contents. I have found this to be the case depending on how much air you remove before sealing the mylar. The smaller 1 gallon bags resulted in a vacuum-type seal after about a day of sitting because I was able to get most of the air out. I couldn't get the larger bags nearly empty of air by hand, so they haven't vacuum sealed. However one has to understand that the air on Earth is approximately 21% oxygen and the other 79% is primarily nitrogen, because of this, if you have quite a bit of air in the bag when you seal it, you will not notice much decrease in volume of the bag's air even if it removes all of the oxygen. At most, it can only be decreased by 21% so a vacuum seal is not necessarily an indicator of success or failure. You can ensure the bag is sealed by putting pressure on it when the seal cools down and ensuring that it does not "go down" by the air escaping somehow. If you know it is sealed properly but there is quite a bit of air in the bag, you have to put your trust in the oxygen absorbers to do their job without it showing. Unless it is defective, you should be fine. If it isn't, you have no real way of knowing other than feeling for warmth as it absorbs oxygen (I'm not sure if this would even be possible, but it cannot hurt to try).
I have now sealed up many 5 gallon buckets of rice, beans, and pasta as I expand my long-term storage supplies, and I can attest to the quality of these bags as long as they are stored so that rodents cannot get to them. I believe my food will be safe in these bags for many years, and I plan on purchasing more when I use these up. These bags are an essential supply for all preppers!
Note - you will not be able to use these in a foodsaver without some clever hackery.