Using PETE Containers for Dry Food Storage
PETE is a type of clear plastic bottle commonly used for foods and drinks such as Coke/other soft drinks and fruit juices sold in grocery stores. The bottles are identified on the bottom, next to the recycle emblem, with the letters PETE. These containers have great oxygen barrier qualities. You can use with or without oxygen absorbers to store bulk dry foods. The low oxygen content of the sealed containers protects the stored food from insect infestation and helps preserve product quality. These containers are well suited for products that are rotated on a regular basis, while still providing several years of storage capability. Some of our wheat and beans have germinated after 20 years stored in coke bottles.
1. Use only PETE bottles that have been previously commercially packaged with food.
Bottles need to have screw-on lids with plastic, not paper, lid seals.
2. Wash and rinse bottles to remove any residue. Drain and dry bottles for several days.
3. Place an oxygen absorber packet into each bottle IF you have them, if not don’t worry about it.
4. Fill bottles with bulk dry products that are low in moisture and oil content.
5. Wipe top sealing edge clean.
6. Screw lids on tightly, BUT not over tight. .
7. Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from sunlight.
These are commercially available from suppliers, you can also use the hand warmers sold in sporting goods stores OR you can make your own if you really feel the need.
This size of absorber can be used for containers of up to 1-gallon capacity and the hand warmers are good for larger containers.
When packaging products, take out of the bag the number of absorbers you plan to use in 30 minutes and store the remainder in glass canning jars with new lids.
Containers that work well for long-term storage include:
Glass canning jars with screw-on lids
PETE plastic containers with screw-on lids
#10 cans metal cans have the advantage of being rodent proof.
Containers that do not work well for this type of storage nor for water storage include:
Translucent plastic containers such as milk jugs
Containers that have contained non-food products should not be used for food storage
Good Dry-Pack Products
Dry-pack products for storage need to be low moisture (10% moisture or less), good quality, and insect free. Packaging in foil pouches, #10 cans, glass canning jars, and PETE plastic bottles should be limited to foods that best retain flavor and nutritional value. An oxygen absorber packet can be included in each container for all products except sugar and salt. Salt should NEVER be stored in metal.
• Milk Non-fat dry milk and milk/whey products such as hot cocoa
• White Flour Bleached or unbleached
• Whole Grains Wheat, white rice, dry corn, popcorn, rye, barley, etc.
• Rolled Oats Quick or regular
• Legumes Dry peas and beans, including dehydrated refried beans
• Pasta Pasta products
• Fruits and Dehydrated or freeze-dried products that are dry enough to snap.
Vegetables (Best items: apples, bananas, potatoes, onions, carrots, corn, and
peas Marginal items: apricots, peaches, pears, tomatoes, and green beans)
• Sugar Granulated, brown or powdered (Do not use oxygen absorbers in containers of
sugar you or you will end up with a really big sugar cube) Candy
• Miscellaneous TVP (Texturized vegetable protein), Cheese powder, Gelatin, crackers/hardtack
Soup mixes (without bouillon) dry lean meat such as jerky, spices, first aid
products, garden seeds
NOTE: All items should be rotated. This may be accomplished by personal use or by sharing with others.