What Is the Packet Inside Beef Jerky?
If you’ve opened up a packet of beef jerky recently, you may have noticed a tiny plastic pouch mixed in with the meat. If you pick it up, you may notice a sort of brittle texture, as though it contains sand. Unless you have prior experience in food production, you may be wondering, “What is the packet inside beef jerky?” Read along to learn what that thing is and what it’s doing in your meat. The answer may surprise you.
It’s an Oxygen-Absorber
The packet inside beef jerky is actually an “oxygen-absorber.” These absorbers contain iron powder, a chemical that reacts with the oxygen in the package and causes the iron powder to rust. Once the iron powder has oxidized and fully rusted, the absorber is “loaded,” and the absorption stops. If you remove the absorber from the package, the reaction ends, and it will start again once you put it back in.
It Prevents Rotting
Oxygen absorbers are included with beef jerky to prevent microorganisms from growing inside the package. Aerobic bacteria cannot live in an atmosphere without oxygen, which are the conditions the oxygen absorbers essentially create. So, if someone asks you, “What is the packet inside beef jerky?”, you can simply tell them it’s a pouch that limits the risk of beef jerky rotting by minimizing the amount of oxygen in the bag.
Some companies and individuals prefer to vacuum-package their meats. Another popular method for safely storing jerky for long periods, vacuum packaging is a process by which all the oxygen is sucked out of the package. This creates roughly the same outcome for jerky. However, when an item is vacuum sealed, it’s pressed tightly into the plastic. Because this creates a strange presentation for beef jerky, most manufacturers prefer to use oxygen absorbers.
At Lee’s Market Jerky, we make sure to safely protect all our meats. You can check out our delicious products at our online jerky store.