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Moisture absorbers


Key words Humidity, absorber, water, water activity, moisture, quality, active packaging, moisture scavenger, desiccant
Latest version 2011/09/07
Completed by FRIP

How does it work?

Primary objective Moisture absorbers can be used for modification and control of environment conditions without a source of energy.
Working principle Moisture absorbers contain a material that absorbs water from the surrounding atmosphere and mostly consists of silica gel, calcium chloride, acrylate polymer etc. They can be in the form of bags, pads, polymer films, tablets or granules. Tablet absorbers collect the moisture from the air and convert it to water in a tank or container. Absorbent pads are very widely used in contact with fish and meat. They are also known as drip pads. Their construction is usually a laminate of plastic gauze, adhesive and either a cellulose fibre pad or a water absorbent acrylate polymer. Bags containing silica gels have also been reported to act as desiccants for use with moisture sensitive foodstuffs. Advantage of silica gel absorber bags opposite to e.g. calcium chloride tablets is that they can be dried and used again.

Amount of the absorber depends on size, temperature and humidity of environment where we want to use it. They are excellent for home and general industrial storage purposes (modified atmosphere). They absorb unwanted moisture from the air, preventing mold, mildew, rust and corrosion. Non-dusting, non-tearing food grade packets are available [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Additional effects silica gel absorbers can eliminate also odor problems. Affects the microbial growth indirectly since it can reduce the aw
Important process parameters moisture content, relative humidity, temperature, amount of absorber
Important product parameters moisture content, temperature

What can it be used for?

Products All types of products except moist and liquid
Operations Packaging, storage
Solutions for short comings Moisture absorbers do not need an energy source and they can be put directly into the package of product.

What can it NOT be used for?

Products Moisture absorbers do not need an energy source and they can be put directly into the package of product.
Operations -
Other limitations Some type of absorbers cannot be used directly at food packaging (calcium chloride base). Size and kind of the absorber depends on size of packaging and amount of moisture at a product.
Risks or hazards -


Maturity Widely used in industry
Modularity /Implementation It can be implemented to the production line (part of packaging) probably as new appliance. It depends also on existing state and type of packaging machine.
Consumer aspects The absorber bag has to be marked due to accidental consumption
Legal aspects EU Regulation EC NO 1935/2004 and the COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 450/2009 of 29 May 2009 on active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.
Environmental aspects Silica gel absorber bags can be dried and used again.

Further Information

Institutes University College Cork - PCE
Companies Brownell, Henkel, DRIERITE, Humidipak
References [1] Pineda SM, Diaz G. (2011): Performance of an adiabatic cross-flow liquid-desiccant absorber inside a refrigerated warehouse, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REFRIGERATION-REVUE INTERNATIONALE DU FROID, 34 (1): 138-147

[2] Villaescusa R. and Gil M. I. (2003): Quality improvement of Pleurotus mushrooms by modified atmosphere packaging and moisture absorbers, Postharvest Biology and Technology, 28(1): 169-179

[3] Ozdemir M; Floros J (2004): Active food packaging technologies, CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION, 44 (3):185-193 D

[4] Mahajan PV, Rodrigues FAS, Motel A, et al. (2008): Development of a moisture absorber for packaging of fresh mushrooms (Agaricus bispoirous), POSTHARVEST BIOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY, 48(3): 408-414

[5] Illeperuma CK, Nikapitiya C (2006): Modified atmosphere packaging of minimally processed avocado cv. 'Booth 7', JOURNAL OF HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE & BIOTECHNOLOGY, 81 (4): 607-612

[6] Alvarez MF (2000): Review: Active food packaging , FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, 6(2): 97-108

moisture content, relative humidity, temperature, amount of absorber moisture content, temperature Packaging of solids 2.2.5 physical, chemical packaging, other other Data from science literature (ISI Web of knowledge database: moisture absorber food(category: Food science technology) 6 article were found, and sources from internet (Google) were used. WikiSysop :Template:Review document :Template:Review status

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Created by Radek on 15 September 2011, at 10:08