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Monday, October 10, 2011

Four Factors That Effect Food Storage

Original Article


Food Storage Life Factor:


It is remarkable the difference in food storage life depending upon the temperature of the environment it is stored in. This has a huge impact. The USDA states, “Each 5.6°C (10°F) drop in temperature doubles the storage life…”! You could also say that each 5.6°C (10°F) rise in temperature halves the storage life.
An example of the relationship of food storage with temperature:

(this does not represent any particular food)

50°F (30 years)

60°F (20 years)

70°F (10 years)

80°F (5 years)

90°F (2.5 years)

100°F (1.25 years)
The ideal place for most people is to store your food in your basement, where average temperatures are often around 60°F.

Food Storage Life Factor:

Product Moisture Content

For long term storage, grains should have a moisture content of 10% or less. Commercially dried foods easily achieve these levels. Typical home dehydrated foods are not this dry however, and will not last as long. Dried foods with 10% or less moisture will snap easily and are very brittle.
Regarding other stored dry foods (rice, beans, grains, etc.) the food itself should not be subject to the elements for long (such as leaving them in their original bag, etc.) but instead moved to sealed containers.

Food Storage Life Factor:

Product Atmosphere

Oxygen oxidizes many of the compounds in food. Bacteria, one of several agents which make food go rancid also needs oxygen to grow. Foods should be stored in an oxygen free environment.
Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. O2 (oxygen) absorbers dropped into a sealed container or a sealed Mylar bag are a common solution. If the oxygen within the sealed container is absorbed, what remains is 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum. It is important that the container you are using must be able to hold an air-tight seal.

Food Storage Life Factor:


To get the best storage life, the product must have a hermetic (air tight) seal. Common solutions are ‘cans’, sealable food storage buckets, and sealable Mylar bags.
If using plastic buckets or barrels, be sure that they are rated ‘food grade’. Remember that just because a bucket is HDPE #2 does not mean that it is food grade. Safe Plastics for Food and Drink

(some information sourced from LDS Preparedness)
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