Preservation of food is an age-old concept and is nothing new for the modern-day world. Our ancestors have been preserving foods by using several different ways and they have been very successful. There is pickling, sun drying, oiling foods, etc. all these are natural ways of preserving food and how can we forget about refrigeration, the modern way of preserving food. Refrigerated foods can last for a very long time without getting spoilt.
There is, however, another way to preserve food and that is Vacuum Packing. Vacuum packing of food is accomplished by using a food vacuum sealing machine. Now that you know about vacuum packing of food as a method of preservation let us tell you all you need to know about Food Vacuum Packing with the help of the Complete Guide to about What can you Preserve in a Vacuum Sealer given below-
What is food Vacuum Packing?
Vacuum packing of food is a method of preservation of food by placing it in a bag, vacuuming out the air present in it and then sealing it tight. This is all done using a food vacuuming machine. With vacuum sealing, you can also maintain and preserve the quality of the food and its size. For instance, vacuum-sealed meat does not let any of the blood from the meat flow out of the bag and hence meat remains fresh and moist, which maintains the weight of the meat. Vacuum sealing your food is a very efficient way of preservation as it increases the shelf- life of the food products 2- 3 times more.
This means that you can save a lot of money and time by buying foods in bulk amounts and then vacuum sealing it in adequate portions to use them whenever you need to consume. This is money- saving and time- saving benefit of vacuum sealing of food. While a commercial food vacuum sealer is supposed to suck the air out of the specialized bags and seal them, you can also use vacuum sealers to reseal packets of chips, eatable, etc., without even vacuuming it if you don’t want to. Many foods like chips or crisps may get crashed due to vacuuming, so it is better that you just seal these packets without vacuuming them and leaving some space on the top and sealing them at that point.
How Does Vacuum Sealing Preserve Food?
Food vacuum sealing is done in the manner to store food in the absence of air. Microbes thrive in the presence of oxygen and so it becomes necessary to suck out all the air (oxygen) and the microbes present in the storage bag. This is done by the vacuuming part of the food vacuum sealer. Since this bag is vacuumed and all the air and microbes are sucked out of it, it makes food vacuum packing one of the most hygienic ways of storage and preservation. Now, to prevent any air filling up again in the vacuum storage bag, it is sealed tightly so that there is no movement of air influx of air inside the bag.
You can also use vacuum sealing is a versatile way of preservation as you can use vacuum packing on a bottle, jar or airtight bag, there are no strict limitations on how you use the food vacuum sealer. Just vacuum these containers to remove all the existing air and microbes to preserve the food safely inside of it. Not only can you preserve your food using a vacuum sealer, but you can also bifurcate your food into different storage bags, store meal-sized portions in each storage bag and increase the overall space in your refrigerator. Vacuum packing works not only on solid foods but can also work on liquid foods like broth, soup, etc. All you have to do is freeze them such in a fridge so that they are semi-frozen and then just vacuum and seal them in a sealing bag.
What kinds of food can you preserve by Vacuum Packing?
While vacuum pacing is most used to preserve and store dry foods for an extended period, there is no proper limit to what you can preserve by vacuum sealing. Solid and liquids can be stored using vacuum sealing. The most common food items that can be maintained by vacuum sealing are nuts, cereals, chips (crisps), coffee, cheese, smoked fish, cured meats, coffee, soup, broth, cheese and more. These are the food that is stored for a longer time using a food vacuum sealer. Short term preserved food items are mostly vegetables, fruits, and meats, which are more prone to getting infected by microbial growth.
Vacuum Packing Accessories
Any sort of food, be it liquid, solid, or grains, can be vacuum sealed. You can also seal raw food or even cooked food using a food vacuum sealer. However, you will need certain accessories for it, they are:
- Vacuum sealing unit
- Food grade plastic bags
- Mason jars or bottles
Types of Food Vacuum Sealers
For vacuum sealing your food items, you will require a food vacuum sealer and vacuum packing bags. There are two different types of commercial vacuum packing units available to you in the market; they are- External vacuuming units and Chamber vacuuming units.
The criterion for this segregation is how the bag is positioned when it is sealed. When we talk about external vacuum sealers, the packaging bag is sealed. At the same time, it is kept outside the machine, whereas, in chamber vacuum sealers, the packaging bag is kept inside the cavity of the sealer while it is being sealed.
Chamber vacuum sealers- these are those vacuum sealers that have a cavity or chamber inside them that holds the whole packaging bag inside of it to vacuum seal it. The merit of using these vacuum sealers is that you can be entirely sure that there is no air inside the bag as the vacuum sealer removes any air present on the inside as well as outside of the bag.
External vacuum sealer- these vacuum sealers do not have a cavity and you don’t have to keep the plastic bag inside the vacuum sealer and can place it on the outside of it to vacuum seal it efficiently. You have to place an inch of the plastic bag inside the vacuum sealer.
Types of packaging plastic bags
There are two types of packaging bags- flat and embossed. While they both have the same function, flat bags cannot be used with an external vacuum sealer.
We hope that the above Complete Guide to Vacuum Packing has helped in your understanding of all that you need to know about vacuum- packing.