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I know it's pretty safe (even recommended) to store food in cabinets that have silica gel packs. I'm wondering if it is safe (and a good idea) to put the sealed silica gel packets directly into the food.

So if I'm storing a spice mix, can I just drop a sealed pack of silica gel in the jar along with the spice mix?

I also read about non-toxic indicating silica gel beads. I'm also wondering if those could be used in this way.

Is there a better way to do this?

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    I've never heard of putting silica gel packets in cabinets, that would be pointless as cabinets aren't airtight.
    – GdD
    Mar 28, 2022 at 7:51

3 Answers 3

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Food-grade silica gel packets are safe to use in the way you describe, however, I wonder if it is necessary. You might want to specify the issue you are having that leads you to believe they are necessary.

Silica gel packets are used when moisture will degrade a product. As long as you keep your spices in closed containers you should not have that concern, unless you are already experiencing clumping. Another reason not to use them in spices is that ground spices lose their aromas and flavors rather quickly. Storing with silica gel might encourage you to keep them around longer, rather than just keeping small amounts around or working with whole spices.

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  • A very important distinction is that you must ensure that the silica gel packets are explicitly non-toxic & meant for use with food. Some silica gel uses toxic indicators, and if it is not explicitly listed as non-toxic/food-safe, you should assume it may contain dangerous toxins like cobalt.
    – AMtwo
    Mar 27, 2022 at 20:46
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    @AMtwo...thus the specification of "food grade."
    – moscafj
    Mar 27, 2022 at 20:53
  • I do experience clumping, even in case of closed jars. I suspect it has to do with the fine grind and sugar content of my spice mixes.
    – Extr3mis
    Mar 27, 2022 at 21:39
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    as someone living in the tropics, a freshly opened container of certain spices can become unusable (non-flowing) within a week. keeping sealed jars closed does little to prevent the problem. manufacturers use silica packets or flow agents (such as Calcium Stearate) in an attempt to remedy the problem. personally, i freeze spices inside several bags (container in bag, in bag, in bag). heres an example: youtube.com/watch?v=927A34POjUc
    – Mr Shane
    Mar 28, 2022 at 1:33
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    And keep an eye on recycled gel packs! If you keep re-using and baking them eventually the outer packet can start to wear out and you can risk a broken packet that starts to spill beads. You absolutely do NOT want silica gel beads to get lost in your spices. They will lacerate your intestines if you eat them.
    – J...
    Mar 28, 2022 at 14:10
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I would think that since silicon packets are acceptable to minimize moisture content of medications containers, they are probably safe for seasonings.

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New study shows that silica IN food turns out to be bad and oxidizes cysteine, glutathione and penicillamine. More studies to follow considering the FDA allows it in everything. Best advice, avoid it in all foods as best you can. Source: https://www.technologynetworks.com/applied-sciences/news/silica-particles-are-not-as-inert-as-we-thought-378027

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    Pretty sure this is "health advice," which is not a topic we discuss on this site, rather than "food safety."
    – Esther
    Aug 23, 2023 at 16:02

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