Ever dive abysmal into a bag of beef jerky, and aloof back you get to the acceptable being (a.k.a. all that powdery, aged advantage blanket your fingers at the basal of the bag), you feel like you’re chomping bottomward on…plastic? Surprise! That’s a silica gel packet.
Silica gel packets are desiccants—a adorned way of adage that they blot moisture, says Roger Clemens, a pharmacology and biologic sciences assistant at the USC School of Pharmacy, International Center for Regulatory Science. You’ll generally see these packets in bite aliment packages, comestible supplement bottles, and medication packets, says Clemens.
Basically, damp leads to foods accepting stale, moldy, and contrarily not fun to eat—so the silica gel helps accumulate your bite fresher for longer. Silica (specifically, silicon dioxide) is sometimes anon alloyed into arenaceous articles in baby amounts to anticipate caking, adds Clemens.
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Don’t worry: silica gel is not toxic, according to the National Capital Poison Center (NCPC). Phew.
Basically, that alarming characterization is slapped assimilate silica gel packets because it’s advised a asthmatic hazard for baby children, says the NCPC.
Depending on the packaging and artefact needs, silica gel packets don’t accommodate added than bristles grams of silica gel, and it’s all FDA-approved, Clemens says. That agency it’s “non-toxic, is not captivated or digested, passes through the gut and is after eliminated.”
So, you shouldn’t be bistro it necessarily (why would you appetite to?) but if you did accidentally, it’s not the end of the world.
Actually, yeah. Super active bodies accept appear up with all kinds of able means to re-use these suckers, including:
And sure, these are all account aggravating if you can’t accompany yourself to bandy them out.
But back it comes to your aliment or meds, don’t comedy Mad Scientist. “Regulatory agencies acclaim auctioning them,” says Clemens. “They accept a bound ‘shelf life’ in that they can alone blot a bound bulk of moisture.” So by the time you’re accepting a silica packet, it ability accept already captivated all the damp it can handle—making it basically useless.
The basal line: Silica gel packets are not meant to be eaten, so…don’t. But if you accidentally eat one, you’ll be absolutely fine.
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