Thursday, September 28, 2017

Storing Sugar For Long Term Storage In Humid Environments

In previous posts I've talked about storing sugar for long term storage since it never spoils, is a calorie dense food, can be used as a preservative (jams, jellies), relatively cheap, hard to produce, and makes an excellent barter item. The five enemies of long term food storage is: light, moisture, temperature, insects/varmints, and oxygen. The humidity can be very high in Arkansas with 100% humidity not uncommon. If I do buy sugar, it can easily turn into a sugar brick within a few months. Our local Kroger ran four pound sugar packages on sale for 99 cents each (1.5 cents/ounce) which is more than half the usual cost.

104 pounds of sugar
Here is my solution: The local Chinese restaurants put uncooked rice in their salt shakers to absorb the moisture. I placed about 3 pounds of sugar in a Quart Ziplock freezer bag, added 1/4 ounce rice between to two bags, then vacuum sealed the contents.

After many years of backpacking, there is no better brand than Ziplock. The Quart size will allow me to gently massage the sugar back into granules if this experiment fails.

I bought a Ziplock Vacuum Sealer for $10 as a Black Friday special last year, and ideally two people and two sealers would make the process go much faster. One making the bags, and the other sealing them.


Between the sealer bag and the Ziplock bag, I put 4 ounces (1/4 cup) of rice, then vacuum sealed the contents. In theory, the plastic(s) will allow some exchange of air and the rice should act as a moisture barrier between the two bags. Sugar does not have an expiration date, so unless a major failure, these should be good to go for 25 years with the plastic determining the failure date.




I've got some more vacuum sealing to do, but the finished products are placed in these square food grade buckets for the pantry.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on my idea of long term storage for sugar in humid climates.

(104 pounds of sugar = 182,520 calories = $25.74 = 91.26 days of 2000 calories /day)


Keep Right On Prepping - K

10 comments:

  1. Sounds good. Thanks for the idea. I wouldn't have thought about the rice. I have a vacuum sealer and about 200 lbs. of sugar. I think I had better get busy before I have 200 lbs. of sugar bricks. :)

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  2. Not heard of the ziploc vacuum before. We use the foodsaver stuff. Thanks for the rice tip. I use it in salt shakers. Now I will try it when I vac the sugar.

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    1. The Ziplock Sealer v150 is a cheaper version of the Food Saver. In theory, I'm thinking my idea will work well.

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  3. I don't have a lot stored. I just vacuum seal it and beat on it a couple times before I break the vacuum seal to... make it easier to pour. I don't know why I never thought to use rice also. Just glad you made this post, K. You all have a blessed weekend.

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    1. Sorry, tried to edit but couldn't. You left out perhaps my favorite use for sugar, check out this link it may really make you feel good about this decision. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956799/ or this one https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-salt-and-sugar-pre/ Essentially you also have 104 pounds of wound antiseptic and preservative on your hands. Honey is also used as an antiseptic and tastes better, which is why I have some 30 pounds of it stashed away (raw and local of course).

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    2. I knew about the raw honey as an antiseptic, but not the finely granulated sugar. Interesting...

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  5. Your system should work. I bought a lot of sugar in pails, in nitrogen flushed mylar bags, back in 1999. I'm still using it , no problem.

    I saw in the grocery store this week, sealed plastic containers of sugar with use by dates in the 2020 range.

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    1. I've found that with water and sugar/salt that the expiration applies to the packaging. We had a distilled bottle of water start leaking at work that was about a year out of "date".

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