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Why Should You Start Using A Vacuum Sealer?

Updated on September 4, 2017

In the 1940's, vacuum sealing was adopted as a method of preserving food with the aim of saving money. The technique was to prevent spoilage of food and to store the food for a very long time, especially when these food are being transported over a long distance. Till date vacuum sealer has been widely used to preserve food because it is a соnvеnіеnt and есоnоmісаl wау for households to preserve and store their food.

Vacuum sealing keeps the food fresh by hindering the growth of bacteria, fungus, and mold that require oxygen to grow food and reproduce. Vacuums sealing removes the oxygen from a food's environment and deprives bacteria, fungus, and mold of oxygen, and thus halts their metabolism. Vacuum sealing also prevents freezer burn. Vacuum sealing can even be used to prevent corrosion. Yes, yоu саn use your vасuum sealer to рrоtесt thе shine оn уоur silver сutlеrу and ѕаvе уоurѕеlf a lot of tіmе polishing it.

Benefits of preserving food with Vacuum Sealer

Increases the Shelf Life of a Product

Shelf Life is the maximum time a packaged material can be stored under specific conditions and still meet the performance requirements. According to research studies, vacuum packaging can increase the shelf life of a product from 50% to 400%. This is why vacuum packaging has become so popular around the world especially in the meat industry. Vacuum sealing allows for food to be ѕtоrеd fоr muсh lоngеr реrіоdѕ оf tіmе, allowing уоu to tаkе fооd уоu wouldn’t normally be аblе tо tаkе оn уоur trір оr tо make less frequent trips tо thе shops while traveling.

No Chemical Preservatives are Needed

Most preservative methods require the use of chemicals in preserving food, but with vacuum sealing, there is no need for chemical preservatives. Vacuum sealing prevents spoilage and prolongs the life of food products primarily by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria, mold and fungal that require oxygen to reproduce, grow and metabolize food. Vacuums sealing food deprives these species of oxygen, which stops their growth cycle and renders them inert.

Freezer Burn and Dehydration is Prevented

Food preservation using vacuum sealing also prevents freezer burn and dehydration. Freezer burn usually occurs when food products are left in the fridge over a long time. Freezer burn occurs when the ice crystals inside the food sublimate into vapor and rise up to the surface of the food, where they either crystalize again into ice and/or escapes into the atmospheric air. Although freezer burn is not dangerous, it destroys the flavor and texture of your food. For example, freezer-burned meat and poultry are mushy and tasteless. A good-quality vacuum sealer bag, however, keeps food out of contact with the air, so the moisture inside can't evaporate and thus drastically reduces freezer burns and prevents dehydration of the packaged material. This will maintain the flavor and the texture of vacuum sealed food tender and rich.

What Foods Vacuum To Vacuum Seal

Vacuum sealing can increase the life span of your frozen meat from months to years. For example, vacuum sealed beef and poultry can be stored for 2-3 years if whereas with conventional storage, frozen meat and poultry can only be stored for 6-12 months. Also, conventionally stored fish can be stored for 2-6 months in the freezer. However, vacuum sealed fish can be preserved for 2 years in the freezer. Refrigerated beef and poultry should usually be consumed in 2-3 days but if vacuum sealed it can be stored in the fridge for two weeks. Moreover, vacuum sealing can drastically expand the shelf life of dry goods, such as dried fruits, coffee, cereal, flour, sugar, etc. For instance, coffee beans can be stored years when vacuum sealed without losing their aroma.

Choosing the Right Vacuum Sealer Machine

Vacuum sealer machines come in different types and sizes. You should figure out what you will be using your vacuum sealer machine for before buying it. There are two types of vacuum sealer machines for household use: countertop sealers and handheld sealers. Depending on the amount and the size of the food you want to store, you might choose one over the other.

If you are sealing large quantities of food, countertop sealers will make your life much easier. They are larger and generally more expensive but can seal more food and larger food items. These sealers are designed to create sealed packages suitable for storing the food in long term. Countertop sealers come in many sizes and models, made to package a wide variety of food products. These sealers are a favorite of bulk shoppers.

Handheld sealers are cheaper and ideal for packaging small amounts. These sealers are often used for packaging small amounts of food that are regularly used, such as nuts, cheese, deli meat, and snacks. The bags used with these sealers are re-sealable, so you can open the package, take what you need, and seal them again.

I have personally used the FoodSaver 2-In-1 Vacuum Sealing System which has both a countertop and a handheld sealer. The machine is simple to use and very versatile. It enables sealing large quantities of food in a short time. My favorite thing about this machine is that it allows you to create different size bags depending on the size of your food item using the roll stored inside the machine and the built-in cutter. The handheld sealer mounted on the machine with a retractable hose that can suck the air out of the containers or re-sealable plastic bags is extremely handy.

Choosing the Right Vacuum Bags

Vacuum sealers bags are highly reinforced plastic bags that create an airtight seal. Before getting your vacuum sealer bags, there are some things you have to consider especially as a newbie. Thick plastic bags have a longer durability and ensure a long-term airtight seal. Always, make sure your bags are at least 90 micron-thick for a secure airtight seal. The size of the vacuum sealer bags should fit your food. Using plastic rolls allows you to easily customize the bag size based on your need. Last but not least, the bags should not be readily available at a convenient price. Brand name bags are typically more expensive but generic high-quality vacuum sealer bags can be bought at an average price. Here is what I have been using for years now with no problems.

General Tips For Vacuum Sealing

Use Storage Barriers

Although vacuum sealer bags are airtight, small leaks might be formed when food is stored in them for a long time (many months or years). Oxygen can hence get in and gradually spoil the food. High-quality thick vacuum bags can reduce this risk. However, to further minimize this damage, it is recommended to put the vacuum sealed food in a freezer bag or, preferably, a Mylar bag. The second bag acts as a barrier and minimizes air exposure. Mylar bags are generally not transparent, so if you use them, make sure to label your bag.

Use Oxygen Absorbers

To minimize the damage done by the potential leaks, you can use oxygen absorbers which are small food-safe packets of iron powder. When these packets are exposed to oxygen, the iron inside rusts and absorbs the oxygen molecules and thus protects the food from oxygen. They are highly recommended especially if you are sealing a whole turkey or chicken because small amounts of air can often be trapped inside the bird's body. However, placing a few oxygen absorbers inside the bird before sealing it soaks up any oxygen.

Freeze or Refrigerate Your Food

It is important to note that vacuum sealed perishable food still requires refrigeration, because the vacuum sealing process does not halt all bacteria, but only ones that depend on oxygen. The bacteria that do not require oxygen can still grow and reproduce and may cause illness if ingested. These bacteria can even spread quicker without the competition from the bacteria that require oxygen for their growth. Hence, make sure to freeze or refrigerate your food as you would normally do.

Conclusion

Vacuum sealing is a great method for preserving food and also reducing food wastage. Vacuum sealers help you get more out of the food you buy by extending the lifespan of your food. They are a great investment for families, hоmеоwnеrѕ, and food lovers.


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