Oxygen absorbers that revolutionized quality maintenance


MGC global market share


Used to preserve food,
pharmaceuticals, and even cultural artifacts

An important reason why food and pharmaceutical products spoil is oxidation. Countless researchers had searched for ways to make such products last longer, but it was MGC that finally produced one of the great inventions of the twentieth century—AGELESS™ oxygen absorbers, which help preserve food and medicine by absorbing the oxygen inside product packaging.

01The secret to absorbing oxygen

AGELESS™ is mainly comprised of iron, which reacts to oxygen faster than any other substance. By making use of that property, MGC's researchers were able to remove oxygen by oxidizing iron powder, thereby preventing food products from oxidizing beforehand. That led to the release of AGELESS™ oxygen absorbers in 1977.

Figure: the image AGELESS absorbs oxygen

02What if AGELESS™ had not been developed?

Tests show that if AGELESS™ is not used in food packaging, mold quickly appears on rice cakes, sweets must be eaten within three days at most, the salt and sugar content of processed food increases, and wakame seaweed and grated yam paste change in color to light brown. Without AGELESS™, we would not have semi-dried noodles, frozen pizza, and retort rice products, or see snacks and side dishes on sale in convenience stores. Indeed, the development of AGELESS™ has made it possible for people to easily enjoy all kinds of delicious and fresh foods every day. Furthermore, since the shelf life of food products can be extended, the amount of food that is thrown away has been greatly reduced. By cutting down on food loss, AGELESS™ is helping improve food conditions around the world.

Figure: the photos of comparison between presence or absence of AGELESS

03Protecting everything from daily goods to human health and cultural artifacts

The original purpose of AGELESS™ was to prevent food and pharmaceutical products from being oxidized. MGC has modified the size and shape of AGELESS™ sachets in response to customers’ needs, and the AGELESS™ lineup currently includes about 600 types of sachets designed to suit a wide range of applications and be included in various types of packaging, such as containers and film packages. Those applications are not limited to food preservation; AGELESS™ is also used to maintain the efficacy of medicine, protect metal and electronic parts, and even help preserve cultural artifacts such as books, textiles, and works of art. For example, it is being used to preserve ancient paintings from the Kitora Tomb in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

Photo: the protection of cultural artifacts

Bonus Feature!How the product was originally named

When first developing its oxygen absorbers, MGC chose the English word ageless as the product name to express its purpose of preserving the quality of food and other items by protecting them from oxygen.