How Does It Work? – Silica Gel Package

I hope “How Does it Work?” will become a regular category in my Weblog. I will start this new category of rant by asking the following question.

“How does Silica Gel package work?”

You must have seen those small gel packages placed inside food products to help prevent moisture inside the product. What I don’t understand is how they actually work? Many of these Silica Gel packs are sealed inside their own self contained package. So if they are sealed inside their own packages, how can they do its job of drawing moisture from inside the food product? I think I will have to seek the answer from a food manufacture.

Although I did find out a lot about Silica Gel and what it is. Silica Gel was invented prior to WWI and was used in Allied gas masks. During WWII it was used extensively to keep penicillin dry. It is the highest capacity adsorbent available today; something that is not normally associate with “gel”. Also not to be confused with “silicon gel”, silica or silicon dioxide (SiO2) gel is a porous, granular form of silica, synthetically manufactured from sodium silicate.

Silica gel can adsorb about 40 percent of its weight in moisture and can take the relative humidity in a closed container down to about 40 percent. Once saturated, you can drive the moisture off and reuse silica gel by heating it above 300 degrees F (150 C).

Silica Gel is mostly harmless that’s why it is used with food products.

1 Comment

  1. The materials (of the containing plastic baggies) used to make silica gel packets are specifically chosen to be breathable. Water vapour passes through them to be adsorbed by the silica gel.

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