Holiday baking season is here! For those who are shipping candy or baked good as gifts or even selling holiday baked goods and confections online and shipping, we have the perfect solution to protect your delicious creations from staying fresh during their journey. Because after all that hard work, no one wants to give or receive soggy baked goods or sticky/cloudy hard candy (click here to see ‘Reasons For Hard Candy Failures’ for more candy troubleshooting tips).
Our magic tool: A desiccant pack! That’s right, desiccant packs are our fool-proof solution to keeping your packaged baked goods and confections fresh and safe from moisture damage. These handy packets, are not only great for shipping and packaging purposes, they are also great for storing your baked goods and confections, especially for those who live in humid environments!
What Is A Desiccant Pack?
Have you ever wondered what those small rectangles that you find in shoe boxes, vitamins bottles, and even in a bag of jerky actually are made of? Desiccant packs are made of silica gel beads (made up of silicone dioxide SiO2) and are designed to remove excess moisture from the air and protect your products from damage like mold or bacteria buildup. Each individual packet is made with high-quality, coated paper for ultimate moisture absorption and heat resistance. Basically, a desiccant pack is like a sponge and it will suck moisture from the air into the packet! How mighty is that?
How To Use A Desicant Pack
In order for a desiccant to work properly it MUST be placed in an airtight package or container along with your item. Desiccant packs are used to absorb moisture in order to achieve a moisture level optimal for the product during storage or when in transit.
Can You Reuse Desiccant Packs?
Yes, desiccant packs can be dried and reused again and again. Research suggests desiccant packs can last between 1-3 years, where outside factors, such as the environment they are exposed to can shift the overall timeframe. It’s important to note, they can be absorbed up to 40% of its own weight before it needs to be reactivated. You can dry most other desiccant packs by placing them on an aluminum foiled lined baking sheet in a 250°F oven. Heat the packs for an hour to drive off the moisture. Let the packs cool to room temperature before using again or storing them in an air tight container. Follow these instructions below!
- Preheat the oven to 120°C (250℉). Be careful not to reach or exceed 175°C (350℉) as it will cause your silica gel to become ineffective.
- Place your silica gel packets on a foil lined baking sheet (you can leave them in the packs or empty them out onto the tray).
- Bake for 1.5 hours for every 850 grams (30oz) of silica gel beads. If they are color changing beads, you can dry until they fully return to their original color.
- Once cooled, store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Desiccant Packets For Candy + Shipping
Weather can greatly contribute to your success in making confections like hard candy, toffees, and peanut brittle. The best climate for making candy has a relative humidity of less than 35%, and cold air usually has less moisture than hot air. After making a batch or more of hard candy place into airtight containers and add in a desiccant packet before closing. This will help absorb the moisture in the air and keep your finished candy from going soft or becoming sticky or cloudy. One packet per candy container is enough to keep the moisture from seeping in. When you go to ship your candy make sure it is in a tightly sealed packet and then throw in a desiccant pack into the packet before sealing. Next, placed packaged candy in a sturdy box or a padded envelope to protect your candy during shipping and help avoid crushed or broken candy arriving to whom you’re sending to.
Other Ways To Use Silica Desiccant Packs In The Kitchen
- Use in a tightly sealed jar of powdered sugar or cocoa powder to help prevent clumping
- Place in instant coffee, or espresso powder jars (items that are known to be sensitive to moisture) to avoid grounds from becoming lumpy or solidifying.
- Add to your spice jars or salt, in high humidity environments spices can easily absorb too much moisture and start to stick together and become a solid mass.
- Preserve Pet Food – Prevent your loyal companion’s food from becoming stale! Tape some packets of silica gel to the top of an airtight pet food container to keep your furry friends’ food fresh and tasty.