Silica Gel Packets: A desiccant is a substance, which is capable of adsorbing/absorbing moisture from its surroundings. This helps in keeping the vicinity dry and this feature is found to be useful in many industries like petroleum and natural gas, pharmaceuticals, food processing and storage and transportation among others. The most commonly used types of desiccant are Silica Gel, Activated Alumina and Molecular Sieves. Silica Gel is a part of our everyday life. We all have seen Silica Gel sachets in any new purchase we make. Silica Gel sachets are placed in packages to absorb any moisture present so that Continue Reading->
In order to protect foods from contamination, this mainly comes from moisture or the presence of other toxic gases that may create an odour that is very unpleasant, silica gel is one of the most favoured absorbing agents known.
It is important to protect the shelf life of foods that are packed and must retain their original properties or freshness for a long duration of time. Silica gel is known to be a key absorbent of unwanted atmospheric hazards.
The Composition of Silica Gel
One of the most important features of silica gel is that it is porous in nature and granular in form. It is made from sodium silicate that is transformed into silica dioxide, which is replaced by the word ‘gel’. It is also known to be a very hard and resilient mineral that attracts moisture in a big way.
It is commonly seen in a bead form and packed in small packets of tyvek paper that permit the interaction of moisture and silica gel. It is a very popular desiccant. On account of its properties, it is strongly recommended to not be consumed at any cost. Every packet carries this warning.
The Versatile Uses of Silica Gel for Food Packaging
Humidity is one of the biggest culprits responsible for contamination of foods. Fortunately, silica gel has this huge advantage of absorbing about 40 % of moisture more than its own weight and size. These packets come in different sizes depending on the volume of food products that need protection.
Most silica gel sachets are packed in suitable material that promote the absorption of moisture and other harmful elements that can affect the food. Generally, it is made from Tyvek or polyester fabric. The other important consideration of using silica gel is that it can be regenerated, or can be used multiple times. The only requirement in this case is to heat it to a precise temperature (about 250*F for about 2 hours) to release all the unwanted stored substances in its pores.
Especially in the case of Iso malt and cooked sugar that easily absorb moisture, silica gel is the perfect choice to preserve their longevity. These products are especially known to get sticky in the presence of moisture. Such properties and features make silica gel an ideal choice for keeping products free from moisture.