The effect of FreshPax oxygen absorbing packets (product of Multisorb Technologies, Inc.) on the shelf life of perishable foods was investigated. Fresh baked bread and mozzarella cheese were each inoculated with mold spores and packaged with or without the packets in moderate and high barrier flexible pouches. Pouches were stored at 23°C and mold counts determined weekly. The packets substantially inhibited the development of mold in both moderate and high barrier pouches. Differences in mold counts between the test and control samples were as great as 1,000 fold. Bread without the packets had visible mold growth within 7 days, however, mold was not visible at the termination of the study (8 weeks) when a packet was included in the sealed pouch. The findings were smar for cheese. The packets were effective in reducing the oxidative formation of n-hexanal (an indicator of off-flavor deve opment) in both sunflower seeds and corn chips. Sensory panel analyses of fresh peanuts showed that the packets nh bited the formation of undesirable rancid odors during accelerated storage tests.
These experiments were designed to be an extreme test of the FreshPax packets in that large volume ratios of headspace to product (>10 fold) were used and the products were stored at abusive temperatures. The resulting data indicated that FreshPax are effective at extending the shelf life of foods stored at abusive temperatures, even in moderate barrier packages with a large head space.