Long Term Food Storage Information

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If you are preparing for the possibility of a food shortage or disaster, IMPAK is supplying the materials necessary for long-term food and product storage. These are general suggestions and may not apply to all applications. If you have different applications or conditions applying to your food storage you may need a more "custom" food storage system. We are glad to answer any questions and help recommend the best storage system for your application.


There are many sites that will tell you why food storage is important and others that will tell you how to choose the right AMOUNT of food.

Do it yourself food storage

SorbentSystems provides all the materials to do your own emergency food storage packaging, including MylarFoil bags, oxygen absorbers, desiccants and heat sealers. We will also explain why you need them.

If you are preparing for the possibility of a food shortage or disaster, IMPAK is supplying the materials necessary for long-term food and product storage. These are general suggestions and may not apply to all applications. If you have, different applications or conditions applying to your food storage you may need food storage system. We are glad to answer any questions and help recommend the best products to "customize" your application.

Concerned about humidity?

If you are concerned about humidity affecting your food product? (rice, wheat, beans and other dry grains.....)
We have a clearly established protocol and procedure for providing a solution to this problem.

One to two individual 1 oz. packets of desiccant should be placed in the bottom of your MylarFoil™ bag prior to filling with product. The oxygen absorber is then placed on top for sealing. Note: This is the recommended procedure for the 20.0" x 30.0" bag (P/N: 20MFS30) that is designed for 5 and 6 gallon pails.

Are you considering storing your food without usage of a 5 gallon pail and a lid with a secure gasket?

If so, you should be examining the usage of our 7.5 mil minimum puncture resistant structure: PAKDRY7500

Note: The 4.3 mil 20.0" x 30.0" can be sealed in 5-6 seconds with the Hot Jaw Sealer. - 10 YR SHELF LIFE
The 7.5 mil 20.0" x 30.0" can be sealed in 10 seconds with the Hot Jaw Sealer. - 20 YR SHELF LIFE
P/N 20MFS30 - 4.3 mil 20" x 30" MylarFoil Bags; 150 bags per case
50 bags for $77.55
1 Case @ $213.90 Per Case
2-4 Cases @ $178.10 Per Case
5+ Cases @ $156.25 Per Case
P/N P75C2030 - 7.5 mil 20" x 30" MylarFoil Bags; 100 bags per case
10 bags for $29.30
1 Case @ $268.45 Per Case
2-4 Cases @ $253.25 Per Case
5-9 Cases @ $209.15 Per Case
10+ Cases @ $184.90 Per Case
P/N 18MFS28OZE - 4.3 mil 18" x 28" MylarFoil Bags with ZipSeal; 50 bags per case
1 Case @ $88.00 Per Case
2-4 Cases @ $85.25 Per Case
5-9 Cases @ $78.75 Per Case
10+ Cases @ $59.19 Per Case

5 Options for Food Storage:

Storage for Grains, Rice, Beans etc....

1.) For storage in a 5-6 Gallon Pail:

  • MylarFoil bag 20" x 30" - Part Number: P75C2030 (7.5 mils) or P/N: 20MFS30 (4.3 mils)
  • If you want a bag that will fit a five-gallon pail and also have a ZipSeal, this bag can be heat sealed for long term and then the zipper (ZipSeal™) is there after opening.
    18" x 28" O.D. ZipSeal ™ bag - Part Number: 18MFS28OZE
  • Oxygen Absorbers - 1500cc or 2000cc absorbers are best)
  • Many recommend 3 each 500cc absorbers or 2 each 1000cc absorbers, but a single 1500 cc absorber will be sufficient for a minimum TEN YEAR shelf life.

P/N OAP300/50 - 300 CC Oxygen AbsorbersP/N OAP500/10 - 500 CC Oxygen Absorbers
50 Pack - 300 CC Oxygen Absorbers for $12.50
10 Pack - 500 CC Oxygen Absorbers for $9.60
P/N OAP1000/10 - 1000 CC Oxygen AbsorbersP/N OAP1500/25 - 1500 CC Oxygen Absorbers
10 Pack - 1,000 CC Oxygen Absorbers for $9.75

25 Pack - 1,500 CC Oxygen Absorbers for $11.90

P/N OAP2000/10 - 2000 CC Oxygen AbsorbersP/N SF3KPK8 - 3000 CC Oxygen Absorbers
10 Pack - 2,000 CC Oxygen Absorbers for $8.75

8 Pack - 3,000 CC Oxygen Absorbers for $10.35

For a complete list of all of our Oxygen Absorbers, as well as discounted pricing for case purchases, please view our Oxygen Absorber Page

2.) For storage in a bag only in lieu of using a 5-6 Gallon Pail

If you have a space or storage limitations, you can use this bag all by itself with no Bucket or pail!

  • 20" x 30" PAKDRY7500 bag - Part Number: P75C2030 - Ultra high oxygen barrier, 7.5 mil FDA approved structure.
  • Oxygen Absorbers - Part Number: OAP1000/20 bag or Part Number: OAP1000/400 case
  • Suggest: Use 2 of these in a 5-6 gallon sized bag, depending on residual air volume. Of course, you could also use one (1) 2000cc packet.

IMPORTANT: Without the additional barrier of the plastic pail, it is important to use a 2000cc absorber to insure long term product quality.

3.) Storage for a 3 Gallon Pail:

  • MylarFoil® bag 16" x 18" - P/N: 16VF4C18
  • Oxygen Absorbers - P/N: 500OAP/50PK or OAP500CS
  • Suggest: Use 2 of these oxygen absorbers in a 3-gallon bucket, depending on residual air volume.
P/N: 10VF4C16 - 5.0 Mil; 10" x 16" Silver MylarFoil Food-Grade BagPack of 50 for $28.10
P/N: 16VF4C18 - 5.0 Mil; 16" x 18" Silver MylarFoil Food-Grade BagPack of 50 for $44.25
P/N: 35M1014 - 3.5 Mil; 10" x 14" Silver MylarFoil Food-Grade BagPack of 50 for $17.90

4.) Storage for 1 gallon volume approximately equivalent to a #10 can:

  • MylarFoil® bag 10" x 16" - P/N: 10VF4C16 (5.0 mils FDA Approved Material)
  • MylarFoil® bag 10" x 14" - P/N: 35M1014 (3.5 mils FDA Approved Material)
  • Oxygen Absorbers - Part Number: OAP300/50 bag or OAP300/1500 case
  • Use one for a #10 can or equivalent volume in a MylarFoil bag size. You can also use a number of these in a larger container, depending on residual air volume.

IMPORTANT: The 10.0" x 14.0" bags are lighter weight and these two bags are equivalent in volume to a one gallon container (10" x 14" bag) or a #10 can (10" x 16" 5.0 mils bag)

5.) ZipSeal Barrier Bags that hold 3-6 lbs of food product.

  • PAKVF4 11.0" x 11.0" x 5.75" BG (Silver Stand Bag w/ZipSeal)
  • DW35Z 6.69" x 11" x 3.5" (White Foil Stand Bag w/ZipSeal)

P/N & Dimensions Material Spec / Mils Thick Cs Qty Min Order Price Notes
38.75" x 53.0" x 23.25"
Mylar Foil Round Bottom bag with white sealant layer; 10/case
4.3 mils
10 1 1 - 5 @ $15.96ea
6 - 14 @ $13.12ea
15 - 30 @ $10.45ea


An alternative plan to the 5 Gallon Pail

Many people line the 5 gallon pail with the 20.0" x 30.0" PAKVF4 MylarFoil bag and place dry food products in there for long term storage. Another option would be to consider placing numerous pre-pack smaller pouches inside. The picture at right is of a P/N: DW35Z Stand Pouch that has the same oxygen barrier properties as the 20MFS30 and would hold a minimum of 2.5 to 2.7 pounds of hard winter wheat in each bag. Thus, a number of these pouches can be placed into a 5 gallon pail for long term storage. Each pouch can be sealed using our hot jaw sealer after placing an individual 200cc oxygen absorber inside.

Oxygen Absorbers

These packets eliminate the presence of oxygen in foodstuffs such as grain and milk powder, ensuring long-term shelf stability. They are commonly seen in beef jerky where they prevent mold while eliminating the use of chemical preservative and have been used by the US military to extend the shelf-life of bread for combat troops to up to two years.

How does one calculate the amount of oxygen in the container?

Below are listed the volumes (in cubic centimeters) of various containers. The most important number to know is that, air is 21.0% oxygen.

Number 10 cans
3,980 cc x .21 = 835.80
5 gallon plastic pails (18,942)
19,000 cc x .21 = 3,990
6 gallon plastic pails (22,730.4
22,800 cc x 21.0 = 4,788

There are two key elements to keep in mind. One is the headspaceand the other is the voidspace. If a five-gallon bucket were filled to the rim with marbles, the spaces in between the marbles (void spaces) would represent 38% of the volume of the five-gallon pail (0.38 x 19,000 = 7,220 cc's). Of this number, 21% is oxygen. So if the marbles were FOOD, a 5 gallon pail would have almost 1500 cubic centimeters of oxygen that must be removed in order to insure viable long term food storage.

The next item to consider is the headspace. If you fill a number ten can to 90% of its volume, you will have 398 cubic centimeters of headspace. This headspace will contain 81.6 cubic centimeters of oxygen (0.205 x 398 = 81.6). In order to determine how much oxygen absorbing capacity you require, we must determine the oxygen level in the headspace AND the void space.

There are 231 cubic inches in a gallon and 16.4 cubic centimeters in a cubic inch. Oxygen absorbers are rated by their capacity to absorb oxygen as measured in cubic centimeters.

OXYGEN ABSORBERS (300's and 750's are the most commonly used sizes)

Are you packing food in ball® jars? 50 cc absorbers are perfect for this application.

There are several different formulations for oxygen absorbers depending on whether food is frozen, refrigerated or destined for long-term storage. The most critical component for evaluation is the water activity level (AW). All dry grain legumes, milk powder and pasta products have very low water activity levels. Thus, they require an oxygen absorber which has rapid activation. These oxygen absorbers are working within minutes of the package being opened. When packaging food for long-term storage, you should use the entire contents of one sealed vacuum packet bag within 30 to 60 minutes. If you know that you will be unable to use the entire quantity, set those packets aside in a small, clean, and dry glass jar with a secure screw-top lid. (A jam or pickle jar will work fine.)

We also provide a special "bag clip" (unlike any chip clip you have ever seen) that will keep the opened oxygen absorbers pouch secure for a minimum of three months. The clips are P/N BGCLP01 and are $5.95 each. This clip will not even allow water or liquid to leak from the bag.

How much oxygen absorbent capacity do you need for standard containers?

We recommend 1500 cc's of oxygen absorbing capacity for 5 and 6 gallon pails. Thus, you could use 5 individual 300 cc packets, or 3 individual 500 cc packets, or 2 individual 750 cc packets. If you do not need an entire case of product, we provide individual pouches of the 300 cc packets (50 each.)

Example: You have 55 pails of food product to place into long-term storage. You could use 165 individual 500 cc packets (3 packets/pail). However, the 500 cc packets come 1,000/case, and at this time we do not sell them in smaller pouches. The 300 cc packets are 150/pouch, and we can provide you with 2 pouches at $25.50/pouch. Each pail will require 5 individual packets for a total of 275 packets. The remaining 25 packets can be stored in a sealed glass jar for up to six months. (55 pails x 5 packets = 275 packets required.

For a one gallon pail, we recommend using one 300 cc absorber. For smaller containers (example: Mason jars) that are approximately one quart, we do provide 50 cc absorbers. However, these are packaged 250 per pouch with 5,400 per case. So you may wish to simply over compensate and utilize some of your 300 cc oxygen absorbers if this is for private use. In the future we hope to be able to provide prepackaged pouches of 50 cc absorbers at 50 units per pouch for $9.90. Pouches of 250 packets are available for $25.50.


When used in conjunction with either a barrier bag (Mylar® Foil bag) or a sealed pail, there are usually no concerns regarding moisture damage. However, some people are very aware that the highly humid environment in which they reside is simply "a fact of life." In this case you may wish to use desiccant packs in the food storage container.

IMPORTANT:The desiccant packets must be placed at the bottom of the pail or barrier bag or in the middle of the food products. The desiccant bags must not be close to the oxygen absorbers. Desiccants will negatively affect the performance of the oxygen absorber when close by. We supply desiccant bags made from Tyvek. Tyvek is a material acceptable for food product contact. We have 1 ounce and 5.5 gram packets available. The 1 ounce packets are packaged 10 and 50 per bag. For those individuals and organizations for which humidity is a concern, we recommend two 1 ounce packets per 5 or 6 gallon pail, or two per large barrier bag. For some products that are already extremely dry and for which concern is minimal, you may use one packet.

IMPAK Desiccant Bags






5.5 gm/100 per bag

$13.50 per bag


1 oz each/50 per bag

$13.50 per bag

Click Here To Order

For the smaller barrier bags (10" x 16") we recommend two of the 5.5 gram packets. Each packet is marked "1/6" on the outside. We also recommend using one of these in cans of dehydrated foods or moisture sensitive situations.

Mylar Bags

In the food processing area, these bags are known as oxygen barrier bags. Many people refer to them as Mylar® Foil bags because the outer layer of the bag is Mylar® Foil, which is a brand name for the Dupont Corporation's polyester film. Our Mylar® Foil bags are 5-layer structures of Mylar® Foil/polyethylene /00035 aluminum foil/adhesive/linear low-density polyethylene (the total thickness of this material is 4.5 mils.)

Order Here

OXYGEN BARRIER BAGS (Mylar® FOIL BAGS) will greatly increase the shelf stability of your food products. Polyethylene pails are not a true oxygen barrier by themselves. The oxygen transmission rate is critical. (OTR) for example, our bags have a transmission rate of 0.001 cc's of oxygen per square meter per 24 hours. A clear mylar®/poly bag is 0.5 cc's/ square meter/ 24 hours, or 500 (FIVE HUNDRED!) times greater.

WARNING: Some companies and people will try to tell you that clear "FOODSAVER" bags are good for long term storage. THEY ARE NOT.(See our technical section for details.) (Oxygen Indicator Tablets)

How do I know if I have the right type of MylarFoil™ bags?

This is an extremely good question. The Mylar® foil bags that are used for long-term food storage, they were originally designed for exporting Macadamia nuts in bulk. This bag is 4.5 mils thick and appears to look like aluminum foil. Although the Mylar® foil layer is transparent, long-term food storage bags are NEVER transparent. Another type of Mylar® Foil with which many consumers are familiar is the "Mylar® Foil balloon" that is often sold at supermarkets for birthdays and other occasions. The industrial name for the Mylar® Foil balloon material is metalized polyester. This is product mostly cosmetic and has minimal oxygen barrier properties.

Any concerned individual should be very wary of an organization trying to promote "transparent" barrier bags or the shiny metalized polyester material as a food storage bag. IMPAK does produce these bags for certain uses. Long-term food storage should never be one of them and as a consumer you have the right to a fraud claim if you have received such information.(One good example to watch for is the US Military MRE products. The packaging material used to produce the MREs has a very high oxygen barrier. Often they will specify nylon as the outside layer of the material instead of polyester (Mylar® foil) due to its stronger puncture resistance and oxygen barrier properties.) Most of all you will never see a simple Mylar® Foil (transparent) structure or shiny Mylar® Foil (metalized polyester) structure used for an MRE.

What is the worst that can happen if I do not use a MylarFoil™ bag inside my pail?

First the plastic pail is not an oxygen barrier(like a #10 can) so there is a slow transmission of oxygen through the polyethylene walls of the container over time. According to grain processors, the most common problem is insect infestation. Nothing will eliminate this as certainly as an oxygen barrier bag and an oxygen absorber. Gas flushing will always leave 2-5% oxygen minimum. Lastly, since the oxygen absorber will actually remove 20.5 % of the air that is within the container, it is possible for the absorber to pull in the wall of the container (the vacuum effect) to such a degree that the lid separates from the pail.


Heat Sealers

Heat sealers are critical to provide a proper barrier to oxygen for barrier bags. We recommend the 6-inch "constant heat" Clam type hot jaw Unit. This unit is available for $134.80 plus shipping. The jaws are sufficient to close any type of heat sealable multi-layer structure. They can be used to seal the standard 20" x 30" barrier bag used in the five-gallon pails.

Order the 6" IPKHS-606T Hot Jaw Sealer for $134.80



To See More Sealers, Click Here

Vacuum Sealers

You can seal bag up to 10 inch wide, and the vacuum in fact removes enough air to allow the use of a smaller oxygen absorbers. To guarantee a three years minimum shelf life, we still recommend a 300 cc Oxygen Absorbing Packet.

Click Here to Order

Would you like to reduce International shipping cost?

International flat rate shipping cost package as allowed by the United States postal servie dimensions.

Shipping options, including the statement that you can "sometimes" get same day shipping by requesting it, authorizing the $25.00 expedite fee and following up with a phone call.


If you want a preliminary freight cost, please do not contact IMPAK customer service and ask them by phone to do this. These orders are not the primary part of the company. The online business is not IMPAK's primary business. Our customer service manager reserves the right to respond to individual request for less than 1/2 pallet (30 cases) in 3-5 days.

Misperception & Reality during times of fear and concern

Yes you may have all of your order, people have presumed that they did not get their entire order for a wide variety of reasons, including but certainly not limited to opening up a single box on the "bottom" side and only seeing the large Mylar Foil bag, is always worth it to take your time and double check your efforts. We are a well established company providing food packaging materials to major organizations and have no intention or desire to under ship any of our customers in the food storage market.

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