What is Vacuum Packaging?

All you need to know about Vacuum Packaging

Vacuum Packaging is sucking the air out of a vacuum bag or vacuum storage container. There is a distinction between a partial and a complete vacuum. A full vacuum is only under laboratory conditions possible. Therefore, only an incomplete vacuum is possible with the vacuum sealers on the market. These manage to suck up most of the air out of the vacuum seal bags or containers. External vacuum sealers usually suck between -0.6 and -0.96bar, depending on their quality. For domestic use, Has in Luck recommends a vacuum pressure from at least -0.7bar. For commercial applications, we recommend a pressure from at least -0.85 to -0.9bar.

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What is the purpose of vacuum packing food?

Here is our quick answer: Food spoils faster when it comes into contact with air. The absence of air slows down significantly the maturing process. So by sucking off as much air as possible, you counteract this process. Another advantage of vacuum packing is that it prevents freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when the food loses moisture as a result of freezing. To avoid freezer burn, we need a medium that absorbs the moisture, usually the air. Without air, there is no moisture extraction. No more brown or white spots on the meat!

A method of gently preparing food is using the sous-vide (vacuum cooking) method for vacuum-packed food. Cook the dish at relatively low temperatures, which preserves vitamins, and flavourings and thus makes the taste much better.

You can also marinate meat and fish with the help of your vacuum sealer. Simply place the food in a marinating canister with spices or a marinade and suck out the air. In this way, the taste can penetrate the dish much better and faster.

Advantages of vacuum packing food

  • Extending the shelf-life of fresh food
  • Avoid freezer burn
  • Space-saving thanks to vacuum packaging
  • Gentle food preparation is possible
  • Efficient marinating of meat and fish
  • Reduces loss of flavour

Which vacuum sealer is right for me?

There are now many vacuum sealers on the market that are ideal for home or commercial use. We created a selection of the best vacuum sealers on the market for you, with which you cannot go wrong. Our advanced filter tool will help you find the most suitable cryovac machines for your application. Don’t hesitate to contact your Hans in Luck experts if you have further questions.

vacuum packaging

Vacuum packing liquids

If you want to pack liquids airtight, there are a few things to consider. Vacuum sealers suck the air out of the vacuum seal rolls or bags, and the pressure in the bag decreases and can no longer counteract the external pressure. When removing air from vacuum seal bags, the ambient pressure presses liquids out of the bags, too. The problem with liquids is that the pump sucks them into the vacuum sealer. However, you do not have to do without vacuum packaging liquids; you can use some simple tricks:

  • Freeze the liquid in the bag before vacuuming, and stop sucking liquid into the device during vacuuming. This prevents the possibility of destroying your vacuum sealer or having it tedious cleaned.
  • Another option is to use marinating containers instead of bags. Liquids can’t get up to the valve of the lid; therefore, the liquid stays inside the container.
  • The last option is buying a chamber vacuum sealer. Without a doubt the most expensive solution but unavoidable if you want to vacuum professionally or vacuum large quantities of liquid.

Vacuum sealing of sensitive foods

Like vacuuming liquids, you must also be careful with delicate foods that can crush easily. Of course, the tip for using a stable vacuum container also applies here. Freezing also works in rare cases but is more suitable for liquids.

The safest method is to monitor the vacuum process and stop before you crush the goods. You won’t remove all of the air this way, but you will remove most of it. Most Hans in Luck vacuum sealers have a PULSE or an Adjustable Sealing Pressure function. You should pay attention to this when purchasing a cryovac machine.

A guide on shelf-life for various vac-packed food

Vacuum Packaging food & Shelf-Life

The tables below show examples of how long non-vacuumed food lasts compared to vacuumed food. You must treat the food under perfect hygienic conditions. Otherwise, you may reduce shelf-life. The information must be understood as a guide and is non-binding since the final shelf life depends on several factors.

Storage at room temperature

Food Shelf life not vacuumed Shelf life vacuumed
Bread 2-3 days 7-8 days
Pastries, biscuits, cookies 4-6 months 12 months
Pasta, rice 5-6 months 12 months
Tea, coffee 2-3 months 12 months

Storage in the refrigerator (between -2°C and +5°C)

Food Shelf life not vacuumed Shelf life vacuumed
Poultry 2-3 days 6-9 days
Beef 3-4 days 30-40 days
Fish (whole) 1-3 days 4-5 days
Pork 4-7 days 20-28 days
Game meat 2-3 days 30-40 days
Fried meat 2-3 days 8-12 days
Hard cheese 15-20 days 40-60 days
Soft cheese 5-7 days 13-15 days

Storage in the freezer (between -18°C and -15°C)

Food Shelf life not vacuumed Shelf life vacuumed
Poultry 6 months 24-36 months
Meat 6 months 24-36 months
Minced meat 4 months 12 months
Fish 6 months 24-36 months
Fruit 6-12 months 24-36 months
Vegetables 8-10 months 24-36 months

Tips for vacuum packaging

The freshness of the food is essential for shelf life. The fresher the food is processed, the longer it will keep fresh under a vacuum. Since the germ content of food is significantly lower. Basically, you should always work under perfect hygienic conditions. It is also a good idea to remove damaged areas of the food before vacuum sealing. Be sure to wash your hands before packing or use latex gloves and clean work areas thoroughly. Stainless steel or stone surfaces are the easiest to clean.

If possible, you should vacuum pack meat when it is chilled. As a general rule, avoid packing raw and already prepared meat together. Raw meat is ideal for marinating in a vacuum canister, not so much for cryovac rolls & bags. The vacuum ensures that the marinade is absorbed into the meat more quickly.

Blanch gas producing fruits and vegetables, such as asparagus, snow peas or cabbage, before vacuuming. The bag seems to be leaking with these foods, but it can also be due to the expelled gases that the bag no longer fit tightly against the product. Potatoes, bananas and apples can be raw but should only be vacuumed unpeeled.

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