What is an oxygen scavenger?


Quick Answer

Oxygen scavengers are chemical compounds used to evacuate the oxygen in an environment. This is done to prevent the corrosion of ferrous metals used in machinery and to control the growth of pests and microorganisms in foodstuffs.

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Full Answer

By extracting dissolved oxygen from water, activated-carbon filters inhibit the growth of rust on machine components. Food-safe oxygen scavengers, such as ascorbic acid, are often added to fruit juice and other food products to prevent the growth of rancidifying microbes and the oxidation of vitamins A, C and E. Another common use for oxygen scavengers is in porous sachets inserted into clothes and food packages.

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