Friday, October 2, 2009

Storage Containers for Long & Short Term Storage

Here are some brief descriptions of the different types of storage containers. Click on the link to view the entire handout from Provident Living

#10 Cans: #10 cans and oxygen absorbers are for sale to Church members at home storage centers. Canning sealers are available for use in the centers. #10 cans may be used to store foods that are dry (about 10% moisture or less), shelf-stable, and low in oil content.

5 or 6 Gallon Plastic Buckets: Plastic buckets may be used to store food commodities that are dry (about 10 percent moisture or less) and low in oil content. Only buckets made of food-grade plastic with gaskets in the lid seals should be used. Buckets that have held nonfood items should not be used.

Foil Pouches: The pouches are made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The material is 7 mils thick (178 microns) and protects food against moisture and insects.

PETE Bottles: Bottles made of PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic can be used with oxygen absorbers to store products such as wheat, corn, and dry beans. PETE bottles are identified on the container with the letters PETE or PET under the recycle symbol #1. Moisture content of stored foods should be about 10% or less. PETE bottles can also be used for shorter-term storage (up to 5 years) of other shelf-stable dry foods such as white rice.

Storage Conditions

Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

• Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality.

• Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.

• Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.

• Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.



Michelle said...

If I am going to store items in a 5 gallon bucket, how do you seal it and do you need to put oxy packs in it?

Lisa said...

The lids of 5 gallon buckets should be self-sealing. Nothing more is required. Do not put any oxy packs in it, because the bucket is breathable and the oxy pack will do nothing. Use your oxy packs for #10 cans. Make sure that you don't store your 5 gallon buckets on the floor (put them up on 2x4's or something similar) so that no moisture will seep into the buckets. Hope this helps!

Lisa Banks said...

What you said is a little confusing. Either the lids of the five gallon buckets are self sealing, and nothing more is required, OR the bucket is breathable and oxy packs will do nothing. If the bucket lid is self sealing, adding an oxy pack or a chunk of dry ice before closing it up will eliminate any oxygen inside. If, however, the lids are breathable as you suggest you are right, and oxygen absorber (whether it be an oxy pack or dry ice) will do no good as the oygen it removes will quickly be replaced with oxygen from outside the container. If it is your objective to store your products in an oxygen free environment, it is necessary to line your plastic 5 gallon bucket with a 5 gallon mylar bag, add your product, add an oxy pack or chilled of dry ice, and immediately seal the bag. Then you can close the lid and your product will be sealed air-tight and without oxygen for maximum shelf life.