How Oxygen Kills Food and Wine


At Equilibric, we know the importance of keeping food and wine fresh. With vacuum-sealing technology, you can cut off oxygen’s access to your food and wine, keeping them safe from deterioration and ensuring they stay fresh for even longer. But why is it important to keep oxygen out of your food and wine to ensure that they stay fresh for consumption?

Today, Equilibric will be explaining how oxygen kills food and wine and how you can benefit from making sure that your food and wine is well-protected from oxygen! After you understand the science behind how oxygen makes your favorite foods and wine lose freshness fast, you’ll have all of the information necessary to guarantee a solution to the problem. Let’s get started!

Oxygen: The Enemy of Food and Wine Freshness

So how does oxygen kill food and wine, spoiling it and making it unfit for consumption? This is a question that many of us may not think to ask. Even further, it is a question that most of us don’t know the answer to. When food or wine spoils, many of us tend to simply throw it out and not think about it anymore. At Equilibric, we knew that there just had to be a better way. Before we could find a true solution to the problem of keeping food and wine fresh for longer, however, we had to understand the science behind why food and wine spoil. So we did some research.

In our research, we found that oxygen is the number one reason that food and wine spoil. Oxygen, and air in general, can have harmful effects on our favorite foods and wine in multiple ways. Most of us don’t stop to think about the effects that oxygen and air can have on our food and wine. Equilibric is here to explain the various ways they work to kill food and wine to you. Today, we’ll be highlighting a few key ways that oxygen reduces the freshness of your food.

An Overview of Air’s Effects on Food

Air is composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and a 1 percent mixture of other gases. Although oxygen is essential for maintaining life, it can have degenerative effects on food and wine. This is because of the way that oxygen interacts with the fats, vitamins, flavors, and food colors found in our foods and wines.

Working against each of these factors, oxygen can cause food spoilage in multiple different ways. Primarily, there are three different ways that oxygen works to kill food and wine including the enhanced growth of microorganisms, oxidation, and damage to food through enzymes. Let’s look at each of these scientific processes in-depth.


Microorganisms can have spoiling effects on food and wine. These effects include deteriorating effects that can range from inedible texture, changes to appearance, and changes in taste and color. Oxygen can provide the right conditions for the enhanced growth of these microorganisms.

Some forms of bacteria, known as aerobes, require oxygen for growth. Molds, and most forms of yeast, require oxygen in order to grow, causing food to spoil and become inedible. When your food and wine are open to the flow of oxygen, these harmful microorganisms can take over, reducing freshness in just a few days.


Oxygen is a powerful force against the freshness of food and wine and can cause spoilage quickly completely on its own. Oxidative spoilage is the number one cause of quality loss in fats and fatty portions within foods. When the lipids found in fats oxidize, carbon compounds are formed. These compounds cause the presence of undesirable flavors and odors, causing foods and wine to become completely inedible.


There are certain enzymes that are naturally found in foods, known as oxidizing enzymes. These enzymes possess properties that cause chemical reactions to speed up in regards to food spoilage. When the natural chemical reactions between food and oxygen are sped up by oxidizing enzymes, this leads to rapid food spoilage.

Two of the most well-known forms of oxidizing enzymes are catalase and peroxidase. These oxidizing enzymes are known for causing darkening in both diced and sliced vegetables. Without the ability to oxidize, these naturally occurring enzymes are unable to activate as quickly. This keeps food and wine fresher for longer.

How to Keep Your Food and Wine Protected From Oxygen

Now that you understand the various ways that oxygen kills food and wine, what can you do to protect your favorite dishes and beverages from oxygen? There are a variety of ways to block off oxygen from getting to your favorite foods and wine so that they don’t spoil as quickly. Here are a few different methods you can utilize to keep your food fresher for longer!

Vacuum-Sealing Technology

The best way to protect your food and wine from the harmful effects of oxygen is through products that use vacuum-sealing technology. These products work to limit oxygen’s access to your leftover food and wine, keeping them fresh for even longer. This is done by creating a vacuum seal around your food and wine, keeping freshness in and blocking out the harmful effects oxygen can have. There are a variety of vacuum-sealing products on the market so you should have no trouble finding one that really works!

Food Liners

Food liners are another great source of protection against oxygen. As one of the best ways of storing food long term, food liners ensure that there are multiple barriers to protect your food from oxygen. Working similarly to vacuum-sealing products, most food liners are made from polyester film and create an extra barrier around your food. This ensures that even if oxygen finds a way into your food storage container, there is an extra line of defense against it.

Oxygen Absorbers

Another great source of protection against the harmful effects of oxygen can be found in oxygen absorbers. Oxygen absorbers work a bit differently than vacuum-sealing products or food liners in that oxygen is still allowed in but, rather than being absorbed by your food and spoiling it quicker, oxygen is absorbed elsewhere. Oxygen absorbers act as magnets to oxygen, pulling it in and greatly reducing oxygen’s effects on your food. While oxygen absorbers are not edible, they are completely non-toxic and won’t affect the taste, appearance, or smell of your food. Everything just stays fresh!

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