Whether it is used to do lab research or in medications, peptides play a key role in those processes. Though they occur naturally in protein-rich foods, there are important guidelines on how to store and care for peptides. To buy peptides online is one thing, and caring for them is another. Peptide storage must meet particular conditions for them to hold their stability and integrity.
Also, storage and shelf-life depend on the form of peptide (lyophilization or alternative solutions) and the storage environment itself. One of the greatest threats to peptide solutions is moisture, and the storage conditions and handling tips are there to avoid their interaction with moisture and high temperature as much as possible.
Here is some important information to help guide you with the storage, caring, and handling of them.
Do Peptides Need to Be Refrigerated?
In short, yes. Regardless of the form they are in, peptides must be kept in a cool, dry place. This is because contact with moisture and heat can significantly impair the stability of solid peptides over a long period of time.
This impairment is due to the chemical breakdown resulting from a peptide’s contact with moisture, a process known as hydrolysis. In addition, for even better protection, they should also be stored away from light, and at a maximum temperature of about 40° Fahrenheit (4.4° Celsius).
How Long Can Peptides Be Out of the Fridge?
Just as long as it takes to warm the peptide to room temperature before opening the vial. Once the desired amount is extracted, the vial should be re-sealed immediately after – ideally under a dry, inert gas environment – and placed back in the cold.
Otherwise, the peptide has only about 24 hours before it starts degrading. An important thing to remember is that the peptides should not be frequently frozen and thawed, as that can cause condensation, which will in turn compromise the integrity of the solution.
Can You Freeze Peptides?
Yes. For long-term storage, they should be kept under -4°F (-20°C), regardless of their form, though freeze-dried or lyophilized peptides last longer.
How to Protect Them From Moisture
Since moisture can lead to the chemical breakdown of the peptides, it is best to let them warm to room temperature very gradually – preferably in a desiccator – in order to prevent condensation from occurring. A desiccator is usually a glass container holding a drying agent for the purposes of removing moisture to protect the product from any water vapor in the air.
If the peptides cannot be properly guarded from moisture, it is best to purchase smaller vials, so that they can be used quicker and thus have fewer environmental changes, i.e. fewer moves in and out of cold storage.
Handling becomes a bit more complex with larger vials, since they are likely to be moved in and out of storage a greater number times. Before returning the vial to storage, weigh it in a glove box to avoid oxygen exposure and, whenever possible, cover or blanket the vial with an inert gas such as argon or nitrogen. If that’s not possible, quickly weigh the product and tightly close the lid to minimize exposure to air.
How Long Do Peptides Last in Storage?
The shelf-life of peptides depends on how they are being stored and maintained. At 40°F (4.4°C), the solution can last about 3 weeks.
However, if it is in a freeze-dried state, stored in a dry environment, protected from light and moisture, at a temperature of -4°F (-20°C), the peptide can last about a year.
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