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Emergency Food Storage Shelf Life

 

Storage Life & Temperature

Temperature and temperature changes have the most to do with the shelf life of stored food than any other factor.  The USDA states, "Each 5.6 C. (10.08F) drop in temperature doubles the storage life of the seeds." Experience has shown that this applies to foods too.

Temperature

Years

37.6

40

48.4

30

59.2

20

70.0

10

80.8

5

91.6

2.5

102.4

1.25

 

Foods that will be prepared and consumed rapidly don't need any special storage requirements.  Such foods can be stored at room temperatures with no appreciable loss of quality or nutrition.  The above chart demonstrates that bulk food can be stored in warm areas for several years.  We don't recommend this for businesses and individuals that plan to store food for long lengths of time.


Moisture Content      

Many products, such as dry beans, grains, and flours contain an average amount of 10% moisture. Although it is not necessary (and very difficult) to remove all moisture from dry food, it is important that any food stored be stored as dry as possible. Excess moisture can ruin your food stored.


 

*We have product specification of our dehydrated ingredients.  The statement on moisture varies between 5-6% maximum moisture content.

Oxygen Content      

Oxygen can be removed from the food storage container, resulting in the food lasting much longer then normal.  Oxygen, naturally found in air will oxidize many food compounds. There are a couple of techniques used to remove oxygen from food containers:

  • Displacing the oxygen with nitrogen: Air is purged out by inserting a nitrogen wand into the bucket.  Nitrogen is the most inert gas known.
  • Absorb the oxygen: Oxygen absorber packet absorbs the oxygen.  Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, leaving about 1% for the other gasses. The oxygen is absorbed, leaving about 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum. Our food product in cans or buckets all come with oxygen absorbers in their containers.

 

*We currently nitrogen flush all of the individual bags to eliminate the oxygen.  We are also in the process of adding an oxygen absorber in each of the buckets as additional enhancement to the product.

 

Predicting actual shelf life of dehydrated foods is not an exact science, however there have been many studies done.  In addition to the above average shelf life of food stored at a constant 70 degrees, you can dramatically increase your life expectancy by lowering the constant temperature.  It is possible to double, triple or even quadruple the shelf life by lowering the temperature proportionally.  Some products, such as seeds, can even be frozen for dramatically increased shelf life.  The basic rule of thumb is to store you food storage in as low of temperature as possible to increase its shelf life and to retain nutritional value.  

 

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