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Desiccant or Oxygen Absorber - What is right for you?

Jackson Wallace

November 28, 2023

Customers often ask what product best suits their needs - a desiccant sachet or oxygen absorber. Establishing the fundamental difference between the two is important to answer this question. 

When it comes to protecting food and preventing mould growth, there are two main ways to go about it: desiccants or oxygen absorbers. 

You've probably heard of these options but do not fully understand their differences. 

By the end of this article, you'll know all you need to know about these two different products and how to choose which one will work best for your situation and needs! Let's get started!


Desiccants are substances that have a special affinity for water molecules. As a result, they tend to attract all the water molecules in their environment, which helps remove excess moisture from the inside of the package.

Several different types of desiccants are available on the market, with silica gel being one of the most popular options.

Desiccants can reduce condensation and allow stored items to stay dry even during humid and damp conditions making them perfect for products such as: 

  • Vitamins and Nutritional supplements
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Spices & Herbs
  • Snacks, etc

Oxygen Absorbers

Oxygen absorbers are packets with iron filings, clay, and salt. The combination of salt will activate the iron to absorb oxygen; the clay element produces moisture. 

They are an effective way to stop product oxidation and slow microbial growth, allowing the product to stay fresh for longer. Oxygen Absorbers also eliminate ethylene gas which helps preserve the taste of food. 

These products can help prolong rancidification in the following products:

  • Nuts and snacks
  • Whole fat dry foods
  • Processed, smoked, and cured meats (including jerky and dried meat nuggets)
  • Cheeses and dairy products
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Flour and grain items


In summary, Oxygen Absorbers remove oxygen from enclosed spaces and desiccants absorb moisture.

If you're interested in gaining more clarity on what product best fits your situation feel free to contact one of our helpful specialists via