USING MYLAR BAGS AND
A TABLETOP IMPULSE SEALER

Advantages of mylar bags for dry pack preserving of dry foods
• Impermeable to light, moisture, air and insects
• Do not rust
• Can be cut into smaller sizes
• Empty bags are more easily transported than cans or bottles
• Filled bags can be stored in shorter spaces than #10 cans
• Filled bags can be stacked in boxes or bins, put in plastic buckets or on shelves
• Can be washed, dried and reused
• Do not impart a metallic smell or taste to foods

Disadvantages of mylar bags for dry pack preserving of dry foods
• Thin bags are easily punctured by sharp foods inside and sharp objects and/or rodent teeth outside.
• Even
thick bags (7 mils) are not rodent proof
• Once opened, food should be transferred to another container for cupboard storage

Advantages of using a portable tabletop impulse sealer
• You can dry pack at home
• You can dry pack at your convenience
• You can dry pack foods purchased at stores other than the LDS Home Storage Center
• You can involve the entire family in the dry pack process

Tips for dry packing at home with a portable table top impulse sealer
• Raise the sealer about 5 inches above the table by placing it on a
sturdy box or large books. This will allow the bag to fall below the sealing jaws into a more comfortable and correct position for sealing.
• Make sure the settings on the sealer are correct. For the AIE and ME 305 A1 sealers
from LDS Church Distribution, set the Recycle dial to 2, Congealing dial to 6, Sealing dial to 4, and Action Selector switch to Manual.
• Attach labels to the bags before filling. Use labels from the Home Storage Center or make your own with return address labels either by hand or printed on the computer. Include the contents and the date.
• Use a rack to hold bags upright for filling. A lid or bakeware rack with the dividers spread out works well.
• Make a funnel out of a
#10 can by removing both ends and mashing the sides of one end in. Insert the mashed end into the bags to fill them.
• Use a clear or translucent plastic half gallon pitcher for filling the bags. If the half gallon mark is not at the top, cut it down to that mark or mark it will a thick point black marker. Make sure the food is level at the half gallon mark to avoid overfilling the bags. Put 2 pitchers full, or 1 gallon, of food in each new bag.
• When dry packing spaghetti, fill the bags with no more than 5 pounds of spaghetti. Lay the pasta parallel to the bottom of the bag to lessen the chance of it poking through the mylar.
• Wipe the inside of each bag, about 1 to 2 inches down from the top, with a paper towel or microfiber cloth, especially when packing powdery foods.
• Don’t forget to put an
oxygen absorber in each bag after all the bags in the rack/s are filled. (Absorbers should only be used for foods of less than 10% moisture content and dehydrated foods that are crisp dry to avoid botulism growth.)
• Take the time to make sure the edge of the bag is flat before inserting it in the sealer jaws.
• If the seal is not flat, seal the bag again either above or below the previous seal.
• Wipe down the outside of each bag to remove food dust. Food dust can attract insects and rodents.
• Pack the bags in the box or bin they will be stored in as you seal them. As the oxygen absorbers work, they may pull the bag into unusual shapes but conform them to the container they are in. If bags are allowed to sit unstored, you may not be able to get as many in the box or bin they are to be stored in.

Opening sealed mylar bags
• When opening bags, cut just below the seal to retain as much bag as possible.
• Empty the contents into
PETE bottles, canning jars or other airtight containers. Put the absorber in with the largest amount of food in case the absorber is still good. It will continue to work and lengthen the shelf life of the food.
• Wash used bags well and dry thoroughly before storing for reuse.
• When reusing bags, be sure to put in less than 1 gallon of food to avoid overfilling. Overfilling usually results in a poor seal.

For more information on long-term storage options see “Long Term Storage Methods.”