One question we get about food storage is regarding the differences between pouches and cans. We wanted to dive into some of the differences between the two packaging options. Comment below to tell us what you think and share your opinion about the differences between pouches and cans.
For years, it was believed that pouches had a much shorter shelf life than cans. However, recent research is showing that this isn’t necessarily true.
Recently, 30-year-old food from pouches was put through a taste test vs 1-year-old pouched food product. Participants were asked to rank a variety of different meals on a scale of 1 - 10, 1 being “Disliked Extremely” and 9 being “Liked Extremely.” 30-year-old food scored considerably high compared to the new food:
As you can see, there was only a slight taste loss after 30 years. The 30-year-old pouch scored a 6.8 out of 9 on the taste test while the 1-year-old pouch scored an average of 8.5. However, the pouch foods were still safe to eat a whole three decades later!
Many food storage companies will throw a blanket statement on their pouches saying that they have a 25 year shelf life. However, you need to be careful that the pouch products you are considering have high-quality components that will ensure a long shelf life. For example, your pouch should:
Have an oxygen absorber. Moisture and oxygen are the two major factors of decreasing shelf life. We’ve noticed that some pouch manufacturers don’t even have oxygen absorbers in them at all, instead opting for far less reliable nitrogen flushing that has proven less reliable at removing oxygen.
“For proper long-term food storage, it’s important to maintain oxygen exposure as low as possible,” said Lee Goin, of Columbia Food Laboratories. “Oxygen causes nutritional value to be lost - especially vitamins A, C, D and E.”
Be stored correctly. In order to obtain maximum shelf life, the pouches need to be stored correctly. That means you’ll need to store them in a cool location - preferably at 70-75 degrees or lower. The location will also need to be dry.
Use thick metalized bags. You’ll notice that bag quality will vary by company. The thickness of the metal layer in the bag lining will make a huge difference on the durability and shelf-life of the food. Don't be fooled if a bag feels thick - some companies will add layers of plastic to the bag instead of metal to make them seem thicker than they really are. The metalized layers keep oxygen and moisture out. Simple plastic bags won't do this.
Storing vs Eating On-the-Go
When comparing food storage cans and pouches, one of the major differences is how they store. The typical food storage can measures 5.5” by 6” by 7”. While it is larger, the metal walls of the can will provide ultimate protection from puncturing.On the other hand, pouches are smaller, and can take up considerable less space due to their ability to mold to the shape of their surroundings. Of course storing them in a durable container isn’t a bad idea as it will help protect the pouch from abuse.
Dishes vs No Dishes
Since food storage #10 cans are intended for bulk storage, you’ll be using plates and bowls to cook and eat. The pouches on the other hand, are designed to be their own dish. All you have to do is add hot water to the pouch and mix it. You won’t have to spend time cleaning your pots and pans after the meal is over.
Lightweight vs Servings
Food storage cans are larger by nature, often carrying up to 30+ servings in some cases. While they provide a great value, they lack some flexibility when compared to pouches. For example, a pouch will fit efficiently inside of a survival bag. The smaller overall servings and light food (by nature of the preservation processes) mean they are much easier to pack around when you need to move your food from one spot to another.
What do you think?
Have you tried food storage in pouches before? Do you prefer to have you food storage in cans or pouches? Comment below to tell us your opinion.
Food Storage 101 - Where Do I Begin?