Mylar Bags 101: The Basics of Using Mylar Bags for Food Storage

Last updated: December 11, 2023.
Writen by :
Eric Lu
Marketing at Bagnpouch

Are you tired of seeing your food go bad too soon? Imagine a solution that can keep your food fresh for up to 30 years.

Well, look no further than Mylar bags. These incredible bags are the ultimate choice for packaging and preserving dry foods. They offer unbeatable protection against oxygen and the elements, ensuring your food stays intact and safe.

With their durable and puncture-resistant design, Mylar bags are the go-to option for long-term food storage. They create a barrier that shields your food from light and air, extending its shelf life even further. Made from food-grade plastic and aluminum, these flexible bags can accommodate foods of all shapes and sizes.

Plus, they are an economical choice, especially when bought in bulk. If you're looking for accessible and reliable food storage options, Mylar bags from CarePac are your answer.

Let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of storing food in Mylar bags together!

What is a Mylar Bags

So, what exactly is a Mylar bag?

Mylar bags , made from a polyester film known as Mylar, which is a form of stretched and crystallized polyethylene terephthalate (PET) .

It is developed in the 1950s and trademarked by DuPont company.

The mylar is often combined with aluminum foil in multi-layered films for enhanced flexible packaging.

This combination utilizes Mylar's effective barrier qualities and aluminum foil's light-blocking properties, offering superior protection in food packaging.

The resulting laminating film boasts excellent resistance to extreme temperatures and superior light-blocking performance, providing a robust solution for preserving product quality.

(Learn more about mylar and aluminum foil in flexible packaging.)

multilayer composites display

Key Features That Make Mylar Ideal for Long-Term Food Storage:

  • Barrier Protection: Mylar bags provide an excellent barrier against moisture, oxygen, and light - three primary factors that can lead to food degradation. By blocking these, Mylar bags significantly extend the shelf life of food products.
  • Flexibility and Durability: These bags are not only durable and puncture-resistant but also flexible, making them easy to store in various spaces.
  • Chemical Stability: Mylar doesn't react with the food inside, ensuring that there's no alteration in flavor or aroma over time.

The Benefits of Mylar Packaging for Long-Term Storage

Mylar bags are a reliable and accessible option for long-term food storage, providing numerous benefits for preserving and protecting your food.

Here are some of the benefits of using Mylar packaging for long-term storage:

  1. Extended Shelf Life: Mylar bags can help extend the shelf life of your food, keeping it fresh for months or even years. The barrier properties of Mylar bags protect your food from exposure to oxygen, light, and moisture, which can all contribute to food spoilage.
  2. Protection from Environmental Factors: Mylar bags are strong and resistant to punctures, rips, and tears, providing a barrier against the elements. This protection ensures that your food remains safe from pests, humidity, and other environmental factors that can compromise its quality.
  3. Versatility and Customization: Mylar bags are flexible and can accommodate foods of various shapes and sizes. They can also be customized with different sizes, designs, and closures to suit your specific storage needs.
  4. Cost-Effective: Mylar bags can be purchased in bulk, making them an economical choice for long-term food storage. This affordability makes it easier for individuals and businesses to stock up on essential food items without breaking the bank.

Limitations of Storing Food in Mylar Bags

  1. Not Suitable for All Food Types:
    • Mylar bags are ideal for dry goods but are not suitable for storing liquids or moist foods as they can lead to mold growth and spoilage.
  2. Need for Proper Sealing:
    • The effectiveness of Mylar bags largely depends on proper sealing. Inadequate sealing can lead to air and moisture infiltration, compromising the food quality.
  3. Limited Reusability:
    • While Mylar bags can be reused, their reusability is limited especially after they have been sealed and opened. Each opening and resealing can potentially compromise the bag's integrity.
  4. Heat Sealing Requirement:
    • Mylar bags require heat sealing, which may not be convenient for everyone. It requires a heat sealer or an alternative heat source like an iron, which may not be readily available.
  5. Cost Considerations:
    • Depending on the quality and size, Mylar bags can be more expensive than other storage options like plastic bags or containers.

Understanding these pros and cons will help in making informed decisions about food storage solutions.

How to use mylar bags for food storage?

To effectively use mylar bags for food storage, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

1. Label the Target Mylar Bag:

Label the Target Mylar Bag

Before filling the bag, label it with the contents and the date of storage. This helps in easy identification and managing food rotation. Use a permanent marker for clear, long-lasting labels.

2. Fill the Bag:

Fill the Mylar bag with your chosen food item. Avoid overfilling; leave enough space at the top for sealing. Ensure that the food is dry as moisture can lead to spoilage.

3. Add Oxygen Absorbers According to the Bag’s Size:

Oxygen absorbers are essential for removing oxygen from the Mylar bag, which prevents oxidation and growth of aerobic pathogens.

The amount of oxygen absorber needed depends on the size of the bag and the type of food. Generally, use 300-500cc for a gallon bag.

4. Heat-Seal the Mylar Bag:

To seal the bag, you can use a standard clothes iron or a flat iron for hair.

Place a piece of cardboard or wood under the bag's opening, and run the hot iron over the top edge to melt the Mylar together, creating an airtight seal.

Ensure the seal is complete without any gaps.

5. Store Your Mylar Bags in a Cool Place:

After sealing, place the bags in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. Basements, closets, or pantries are ideal. Avoid areas where temperatures fluctuate, as this can affect the food's shelf life.

By following these steps, you can effectively use Mylar bags to preserve a variety of dry goods for the long term, ensuring a stable and secure food supply.

Tips for Sealing Mylar Bags

If you want to effectively store your food using mylar bags, it's important to know how to properly seal them.

Here are some tips for sealing mylar bags for food storage:

  1. Use a heat sealer: A heat sealer is the most common and effective way to seal mylar bags. Simply place the open end of the bag between the heat sealer jaws and press down to create a tight seal.
  2. Double seal for extra protection: To ensure maximum freshness and protection, consider double sealing your mylar bags. This involves making a second seal about half an inch below the first seal.
  3. Remove excess air: Before sealing the bag, make sure to remove as much air as possible. Squeeze the bag gently to push out the air, or use a vacuum sealer if available.
  4. Store in a cool, dry place: After sealing the mylar bags, it's important to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. This will help to prolong the shelf life of the food inside.

O2 Absorbers & Mylar Bags VS Vacuum Sealing

In a nutshell, vacuum sealing eliminates air from the bag and creates a tight seal.

O2 Absorbers mylar bag
Vacuum sealing bag for food packaging

But adding oxygen absorbers to Mylar bags specifically targets oxygen removal, which is critical for preventing oxidation and extending shelf life.

The choice between the two depends on the type of food being stored and the desired outcome in terms of preservation.

This comparison plays a vital role in understanding the unique advantages of Mylar bag packaging. For more detailed insights, click our dedicated post on 'Mylar Bags Vs Vacuum Sealing'.

What foods can you store in mylar bags?

If you're wondering what foods are best suited for mylar bag packaging, there are a few key factors to consider.

Mylar bags are excellent for storing a variety of dry and low-moisture foods, which helps in extending their shelf life significantly.

  • Grains like Rice and Wheat: Their low moisture content makes them perfect for long-term storage.
  • Dried Legumes like Beans and Lentils: Their shelf life is significantly extended in Mylar bags.
  • Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables: Mylar bags protect them from moisture and light, preserving their quality.
  • Dry Pasta: Its longevity is enhanced when stored in airtight Mylar bags.
  • Non-Perishable Baking Ingredients: Such as flour and sugar, which benefit from the moisture-proof nature of Mylar.

These foods, being low in oil and moisture, are less prone to spoilage, making them ideal candidates for Mylar bag storage.

How long can food be stored in a Mylar bag?

For optimal food storage in Mylar bags, consider the ideal foods based on their recommended storage times.

It's important to note that foods with high oil or moisture content, such as nuts, chocolate, and crackers, have a shorter shelf life and should be rotated more often.

Storage TimeFood Products
Less than half a yearFreshly Milled Whole Grain Flours, Ground Coffee, Herbs, Spices
Between half year and 1 yearBrown Rice, Nuts, Seeds, Natural Granola
Between 1 and 3 yearsWhite Flour, Dried Fruit, Powdered Milk, Yeast
Between 3 and 5 yearsWhite Rice, Pasta, Rolled Oats, Dry Beans
Between 5 and 10 yearsWhite Sugar, Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder
More than 10 yearsHard Grains (e.g., Wheat, Corn), Freeze-Dried Meats, Freeze-Dried Vegetables

It's important to note that these storage times can vary based on factors like the initial quality of the food, the storage conditions, and the effectiveness of the sealing process.

Foods to Avoid in Mylar Bag Storage

Certain foods shouldn't be stored in Mylar bags due to their moisture content and perishability.

Here are four types of foods to avoid storing in Mylar bags:

  • High Moisture Foods: Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products contain significant moisture, which can lead to mold and bacteria growth in the sealed, airless environment of Mylar bags.
  • Fatty or Oily Foods: Foods like nuts, seeds, and oily grains can become rancid over time due to fat oxidation, especially when stored without air in Mylar bags.

Key Factors Leading to Unsuitability:

  • Moisture Content: The high moisture in certain foods can encourage bacterial growth and spoilage in the absence of refrigeration.
  • Oxidation of Fats: The lack of air circulation in sealed Mylar bags can accelerate the oxidation of fats in oily foods, leading to rancidity.

These factors make such foods inappropriate for Mylar bag storage, necessitating alternative storage methods.

PS: While Mylar bags are great for certain dry goods, for those foods unsuitable for Mylar packaging, such as high-moisture or fatty items, consider using FoodSaver bags.

Learn more about the advantages of FoodSaver bags in our comparison post 'Mylar Bag vs. FoodSaver Bag'.

Selecting the Right Mylar Bag for Your Food Product

Mylar bags are available in a variety of sizes to meet a variety of food storage needs.

They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including flat pouches, stand-up pouches, gusseted pouches, and more.

Selecting the appropriate Mylar bag for your food items involves considering several key factors to ensure optimal preservation.

The size of the Mylar bag should match the quantity of your food to minimize excess air that could facilitate oxidation.

Choose a thickness that correlates to the durability you need; thicker bags offer better protection against punctures and tears.

Additionally, integrating oxygen absorbers is crucial for extending shelf life by removing residual oxygen within the sealed environment.

  • Size Matters: Don't let your food's freshness be compromised by choosing a bag too large for your needs.
  • Thickness Equals Protection: Opt for a higher gauge to shield your food from external harm.
  • Oxygen Absorbers: A must-have to maintain the integrity and flavor of your stored food.

Choose wisely to keep your food's quality unspoiled over time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you're looking for the best way to store your food for the long term, Mylar bags are the ultimate solution.

With their unparalleled ability to keep food fresh for up to 30 years, these durable and economical bags provide unmatched protection from oxygen and the elements.

Don't wait any longer to ensure the safety and longevity of your food - choose Mylar bags from CarePac today and enjoy peace of mind for years to come.

How thick should Mylar bags be for food storage?

Generally, Mylar bags used for food storage range from 3.5 to 7 mils in thickness. The choice depends on the type of food and the desired shelf life, with thicker bags offering better protection and longevity.

Are mylar bags safe for food storage

Mylar bags are safe for storing food. They are made from a material that is inert and does not react with food items, providing a good barrier against moisture, light, and oxygen.

How long will spices last in mylar bags

Spices can last for several years in Mylar bags. While they don't spoil, they may lose potency over time, so it's ideal to store them properly and use them within a few years for best flavor.

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