storing powdered & granulated food

12:23 a.m. on October 1, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Joe Walp, Joe, joewalp

Hi all. I'm new to the forum.

I just made a couple suggestions for olive oil containers in response to a post from a couple months ago ("Olive Oil in What Container??"). That got me thinking about my own food container conundrum.

I generally eat cold during summer---as much for the convenience as for the weight savings. Lots of dishes start with couscous, to which I add olive oil, clarified butter (ghee) or powdered instant cream. Each variant then gets something for "chewability," such as Hormel bacon pieces, walnut pieces, dried fruit, sundried tomato or textured vegetable protein.

Then, most variants can be seasoned a few ways. Seasonings include powdered tomato, granulated brown sugar, powdered asparagus, Folgers crystals (believe it or not), parsley flakes, salt, white pepper, curry powder, powdered maple syrup, celery salt, granulated chicken boullion, etc.

I'm curious how others carry powdered and grandulated seasonings. One option would be to pack each meal's dry ingredients in a separate ziploc. But that doesn't allow enough flexibility: I tend to vary the amount I prepare based on appetite, and I don't want a lot of leftover seasoned couscous.

Instead, I pack an assortment of seasoning mixtures in mini zipper bags [1].

But I'd prefer to take a variety of seasonings so that I could prepare whatever strikes my fancy on a given evening, seasoning to taste. One option might be to use a mini zipper bag for each seasoning and to doll out using a miniature spoon. With all of the baggies taped together (making something resembling a baggie belt), they'd be easy to keep track of. But the system wouldn't work well in wet conditions: a wet spoon and/or a wet bag opening would make a mess.

Despite the greater weight, mini plastic bottles look like a better bet. Ideally, I'd want non-rigid, transparent non-tapering containers, but I don't see any offering that matches. For example, both MSR Kitchen Cupboard and MSR Kitchen Set include flip-top, rigid, semi-transparent vials [2]. Alternately, REI offers a Nalgene Multi-Purpose Vial Kit with heavier screw-cap, rigid, semi-transparent vials [3]. Lastly, United States Plastic Corp offers Nalgene vials with press-on caps [4].

Seems like MSR marketing would mention if their vials were Nalgene (low density polyethylene). I'm pretty sure that the top edge would be prone to cracking otherwise [5]. Probably, they're polypropylene, like the the dilution vials that Fisher Scientific offers [6]. Of course, neither of these flip-top options is particularly economical due to extra junk from MSR and minimum of fifty from Fisher Scientific.

Any suggestions?


[1]
http://www.buyplasticbagsdirect.com/p2m.html

[2]
http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/alpine_kitchen.asp
http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/alpine_cupboard.asp

[3]
http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=494&parent_category_rn=5760750

[4]
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=USPlastic&category%5Fname=Vials&product%5Fid=Nalgene%AE+Sample+Vials+with+Closure

[5]
http://www.qorpak.com/products/plastics/resinfo.htm

[6]
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000062Z1A/ref=lh_dp_10_/103-5807819-5786255?goto-page=888

10:58 p.m. on October 2, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Joe W, Joe, joewalp

I'm gonna ask MSR [1] and EMS [2] what kind of plastic their vials are made of.

Let's hope that one of 'em is LLDPE (Nalgene) or LDPE [3], because all of the flip-lid vials about that size that I've found advertised as LDPE are sold only in large quantities [4].

[1]
http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/alpine_cupboard.asp

[2]
See item 72621-60.
http://www.emsdiasum.com/ems/preparation/vials.htm

[3]
Search for "polyolefins".
http://www.rsc.org/pdf/books/pbpolysc.pdf

[4]
See item 226245-0025.
http://www.scicominc.com/vials_cups_racks.htm
See item BH-06094-60.
http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/0304_pdf/A-0893.pdf
See item EP2400LG.
http://www.lacons.com/emerald_bdy.htm

6:17 p.m. on October 3, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Joe Walp, Joe, joewalp
MSR & EMS vials

Quote:

I'm gonna ask MSR [1] and EMS [2] what kind of plastic their vials are made of.

MSR -> LDPE
EMS -> HDPE

Apparently, no one sells LLDPE vials that size/shape with an attached cap.


Quote:

[1]
http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/alpine_cupboard.asp

[2]
See item 72621-60.
http://www.emsdiasum.com/ems/preparation/vials.htm

6:30 p.m. on October 3, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Joe Walp, Joe, joewalp
sugary items

A friend says that vials don't work well for containing either sugar or mistures containing significant sugar.  They clump, failing to sprinkle.  They have to be broken up with some implement, just as ingredients in mini zipper bags have to be scooped with some implement---a mess in wet weather.

I think I'll stick with mixtures in mini zipper bags unless someone has a better suggestion.

3:35 p.m. on October 8, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

Well Joe,

Seems like a lot of work for a couple of vials. I usually use whatever I can find around my house and it ususally does he trick.

Depending on how hard up for these containers you are I have a couple of suggestions. If you really like the ones from Fisher, I would suggest looking up a scientific supply or laboratory supply store in your local yellow pages. If you live near a fairly large city, you should be able to find one.

Also many universities supply stores on campus. Some accept outside customers and some do not. You might want to check there. If they have it make friends with one of the profs and have him order them for you.

GL

Matt


Quote:

Hi all. I'm new to the forum.

I just made a couple suggestions for olive oil containers in response to a post from a couple months ago ("Olive Oil in What Container??"). That got me thinking about my own food container conundrum.

I generally eat cold during summer---as much for the convenience as for the weight savings. Lots of dishes start with couscous, to which I add olive oil, clarified butter (ghee) or powdered instant cream. Each variant then gets something for "chewability," such as Hormel bacon pieces, walnut pieces, dried fruit, sundried tomato or textured vegetable protein.

Then, most variants can be seasoned a few ways. Seasonings include powdered tomato, granulated brown sugar, powdered asparagus, Folgers crystals (believe it or not), parsley flakes, salt, white pepper, curry powder, powdered maple syrup, celery salt, granulated chicken boullion, etc.

I'm curious how others carry powdered and grandulated seasonings. One option would be to pack each meal's dry ingredients in a separate ziploc. But that doesn't allow enough flexibility: I tend to vary the amount I prepare based on appetite, and I don't want a lot of leftover seasoned couscous.

Instead, I pack an assortment of seasoning mixtures in mini zipper bags [1].

But I'd prefer to take a variety of seasonings so that I could prepare whatever strikes my fancy on a given evening, seasoning to taste. One option might be to use a mini zipper bag for each seasoning and to doll out using a miniature spoon. With all of the baggies taped together (making something resembling a baggie belt), they'd be easy to keep track of. But the system wouldn't work well in wet conditions: a wet spoon and/or a wet bag opening would make a mess.

Despite the greater weight, mini plastic bottles look like a better bet. Ideally, I'd want non-rigid, transparent non-tapering containers, but I don't see any offering that matches. For example, both MSR Kitchen Cupboard and MSR Kitchen Set include flip-top, rigid, semi-transparent vials [2]. Alternately, REI offers a Nalgene Multi-Purpose Vial Kit with heavier screw-cap, rigid, semi-transparent vials [3]. Lastly, United States Plastic Corp offers Nalgene vials with press-on caps [4].

Seems like MSR marketing would mention if their vials were Nalgene (low density polyethylene). I'm pretty sure that the top edge would be prone to cracking otherwise [5]. Probably, they're polypropylene, like the the dilution vials that Fisher Scientific offers [6]. Of course, neither of these flip-top options is particularly economical due to extra junk from MSR and minimum of fifty from Fisher Scientific.

Any suggestions?


[1]
http://www.buyplasticbagsdirect.com/p2m.html

[2]
http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/alpine_kitchen.asp
http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/alpine_cupboard.asp

[3]
http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=494&parent_category_rn=5760750

[4]
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=USPlastic&category%5Fname=Vials&product%5Fid=Nalgene%AE+Sample+Vials+with+Closure

[5]
http://www.qorpak.com/products/plastics/resinfo.htm

[6]
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000062Z1A/ref=lh_dp_10_/103-5807819-5786255?goto-page=888

8:38 p.m. on October 8, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Joe Walp, Joe, joewalp

Quote:

Seems like a lot of work for a couple of vials. I usually use whatever I can find around my house and it ususally does he trick.

-grin-  Never underestimate the power of student procrastination.

I learned a bit about different types of plastic along the way.  For instance, the reason a drink mix container (Tang, Cool-Aid, etc.) accumulates food smell faster than Ziploc semi-disposable container is because the high-density polyethylene base of the former is more gas permeable than the polypropylene base of the latter [1].

Thanks for the source suggestions.  For now, I think I'll stick with mini zipper bags and film canisters [2].

[1]
http://americanplasticscouncil.org/benefits/about_plastics/resin_codes/resin.html

[2]
http://www.backpacking.net/knowleg2.html#filmcans

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