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The key to delivering best teas across the world is to retain its freshness. In our previous post, we have discussed how, with our ‘farm to cup’ concept, we sample the tea from our estates to check quality in our fulfillment centre. This blog explains how some methods preserve the freshness of teas for you.
Let us first understand how packaged food gets spoilt. It has been estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2011 that close to 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted because of oxidation. According to a paper published in 2015 by Maryland-based National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), presence of oxygen inside the packaged food helps in the survival of most of the organisms. The research paper further adds that in beverages such as tea, presence of microbes lead to the loss of aroma leading to the loss of micronutrients and taste.
To deliver the goodness of the tea gardens, we are relying on one of the most popular methods discovered in Japan in 1977. Oxygen absorbers are materials usually contained within a satchel that is added to packaged food to remove the oxygen from void space around the food particles. They react with oxygen and moisture by the process of oxidation of a salt such as iron carbonate. According to the NCBI research paper, oxygen absorbers can lower the internal oxygen concentration to less than 0.0001 %.
Oxygen absorbers are completely safe to use, are not edible (choking hazard) and non-toxic. No harmful gases are released during oxygen absorption. A new sachet appears black; its powder is loose with a warm feeling from the exterior indicating oxygen absorbing activity, whereas an old or expired product can be distinguished from its red rusty color, particulate nature and is harder to feel from the exterior. At TeaOrb, after trying several methods, we found that oxygen absorbers are the best as the leaf remains intact in this process.