oxygen

Customers often ask why all Pines products have a 5-year shelf life while greens in plastic bottles only have a 3-year shelf life.  The difference is that at Pines uses glass bottles with special metal caps. That allows us to remove the oxygen from each bottle.  It is a similar method used by food storage containers that have a 10 year shelf life.  Actually, without oxygen, a product could stay fresh indefinitely.  For more than 40 years, Pines has packaged all its products using this safeguard.  They are available online or through leading natural food stores.

Removing Oxygen from Containers Extends Freshness

We need oxygen.  It is essential for life. Our bodies use it to convert food into energy. Oxygen is essential for life.  Even so, when in contact with wheatgrass powder or other highly-pigmented superfoods, nutrients slowly devitalize through oxidation.   That’s why it is important to remove the oxygen.

The Father of Wheatgrass Always Removed Oxygen

By volume, air contains 21% oxygen. That’s why when a highly pigmented superfood like wheatgrass powder is packaged in containers filled with air, it slowly oxidizes.  That means it loses nutrition while in transit, while it sits in a warehouse and while it sits on a store’s shelf.  Over the course of months, oxidation devitalizes and deteriorates some of the most valuable nutrients in a green food.

The effect of oxidation on wheatgrass and other highly pigmented superfoods was a great concern for Dr. Charles Schnabel.  That’s why in 1937, Dr. Schnabel packaged his wheatgrass powder in amber glass bottles with specially-designed metal caps. That packaging allowed Dr. Schnabel to remove the air from each bottle and replace the air with nitrogen.  The result was a body of research that inspired Ann Wigmore and other authors.  Schnabel was called “the father of wheatgrass” by Steve Meyerowitz, author of Wheatgrass: Nature’s Finest Medicine.

How Do We Do It?

Quality green superfood companies have used Dr. Schnabel’s standards since 1937.  That’s why in the 40 years since being established in 1976, Pines has also followed Dr. Schnabel’s packaging standards. We have also followed his growing and harvesting standards.

nitro 1

First, we put the filled bottles with the special metal caps into a vacuum chamber with the caps not quite screwed down tightly.

nitro 2

After we fill the vacuum chamber with bottles, it is tightly sealed. Then, a vacuum pump removes nearly all the air from the chamber, including the air inside each bottle. The air contains 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. It is is replaced with >98% nitrogen and <2% oxygen.  That means the bottles are essentially “oxygen free.”

Nitro 3

After that, we remove the bottles from the chamber with the nitrogen atmosphere in the bottles.  The pressure in the bottles is the same as the surrounding air.  As a result, the nitrogen stays in the bottle long enough to go through a cap tightening machine to tightly screw down the metal caps.  The special seal inside each cap prevents the outside air and humidity from ever entering the bottle.

After you bring the bottle home and open it, the tight fitting seal helps to keep the product fresh between uses.  Thus, when you open any bottle from Pines, the contents are as fresh as the day they were packaged because of the oxygen-free protection, the glass bottles and the special metal caps.