Vacuum packaging is growing in popularity, and for good reason. What are the advantages? It extends the shelf life of food significantly, but is also useful for storing clothing, shoes, bed linen, etc. What vacuum-sealed means, what the advantages and disadvantages of the method are, which vacuum sealer you should buy for your home – we will help you with useful information.
What is vacuum packaging?
This is a modern way to protect a wide variety of goods – from metal structures to food. It is based on creating an airless space around the contents, in which harmful microorganisms do not multiply. And, since there are no analogues to this invention, it is not surprising that it has become very popular.
The containers for vacuum packaging come in many different shapes – they can be special bags, sacks and foils, but also jars and cans made of glass, plastic or stainless steel. As a rule, vacuum packaging is made transparent, which allows the buyer to examine the product, assess its condition before purchasing. The only drawback of such a container is the instability to mechanical damage. Any even micro-puncture, which is easy to make, not even intentionally, violates the integrity of the vacuum which ruins the efficiency.
Advantages and disadvantages of vacuum packaging
The principle of operation is based on the properties of vacuum – airless space. Reducing the pressure in a closed bag, we create an environment in which oxidation processes slow down, thermal conductivity and moisture absorption decrease, and conditions for the life of living organisms disappear. The advantages of this type of packaging are undeniable:
- Protection – vacuum sealed packaging reliably protect the contents from dust, odors, moisture and harmful insects.
- Durability- The mechanical strength of the material, the design of the lock and valve make it possible to use the bag repeatedly, removing clothes or textiles from it as needed.
- Convenience- Transparent plastic makes it easy to quickly find the right thing.
- Super compactness -The pressure decrease the volume of clothing or bed linen several times, significantly saving space on the shelves.
- Extends the shelf life of food products, medicines, etc. and reduces the risk of food spoiling.
- Any product remains in its original form and condition. Vacuum packaging maintains the quality of products like fruits and vegetables, preserving the vitamins.
- Vacuum packaging is also hygienic as it prevents liquids from leaking out and food odor.
- There is no risk of developing harmful bacteria.
- Provides possibility of long-term food freezing.
- For companies that process and sell food, vacuum packaging also means good product presentation, reduced production and storage costs and easier distribution.
Despite the great number of advantages, there are some shortcomings. Among the disadvantages are:
- Unreliable protection against mechanical damage.
- Often the taste of the product changes.
- Possibility of the appearance of anaerobic bacteria.
- Although you can extend the shelf life of food and reduce food waste with vacuum packaging, film packaging also generates large amounts of difficult-to-recycle plastic.
Is vacuum packaging healthy?
While vacuum packaging helps keep food fresher, it is important to remember that it must be stored at the right temperature, humidity, and pH, and for the right period of time. Otherwise, dangerous anaerobic microorganisms that are responsible for food poisoning can multiply in the food. How long can vacuum-packed food be stored? Each product has a different storage time, but it is generally accepted that it can be up to five times longer thanks to a vacuum!
What can be packed in vacuum bags?
Vacuum packaging is primarily – but not exclusively – used for food preservation. You can store any products but you have to take into account that each of them has a different shelf life. You can store raw meat and sausage, raw and smoked fish, cheese, grains, fruit, processed vegetables, ready meals, soups and sauces, baked goods, etc.
Vacuum packaging is ideal for storing bed linen and clothing. This method reduces their volume, protects the materials from dust, moisture and mites and allows you to optimize the space in the closet.
How to vacuum seal food?
To store food, you can purchase containers or special packages that differ in functionality. Vacuum containers are not just tight-fitting plastic boxes for storing food: they have a special valve on the lid that must be pressed to release air. Plastic bags are the most popular way to vacuum seal food. You need a vacuum sealer which sucks out the oxygen and seals the bags.
You can also use pre-made vacuum bags, which come in different sizes. Some of them are equipped with special straps to absorb excess liquid, which is especially useful for packing meat. Special jars and containers can also be used for vacuum sealing, which is a more ecological solution than disposable plastic bags. They can be used to store soft fruits (e.g. strawberries), mixed lettuce, coffee beans and dried tea, as well as to marinate meat. The food that you want to vacuum seal must be fresh, clean, chilled and as dry as possible. Meat, fish, fruits and vegetables should be washed and wiped thoroughly before sealing.
How to vacuum seal clothes and bed linen?
Vacuuming significantly saves space in the closet. Pillows, blankets and winter clothes are voluminous and it is a great idea to use vacuum bags and save closet space. The most common type for these purposes is made of dense polyethylene with a valve to which the vacuum cleaner hose is connected. However, not every type of clothing can be vacuum sealed, for example leather jackets, fur, etc. Jackets must be turned inside out so that zippers and buttons do not pierce the bag. When using this storage method, keep in mind that the creases on the clothes will be stronger and more noticeable than if they were just lying on the shelf.
In addition, the method allows you to vacuum seal soft toys. When the child has grown or no longer plays with plush toys, it is a pity to throw them away. Vacuum them and store them in the closet until you figure out what to do with them. After such storage, they look good and can later be donated or sold.
How to choose a vacuum sealer?
Choosing a vacuum sealer today is not very difficult. There are many models on the market that allow you to easily find the most suitable device in terms of price and quality. Before buying a vacuum sealer, you need to know what you need and how you are going to use it. There are several criteria:
- Ease of use
- Additional features
- Easy maintenance
The cost of vacuum sealers can vary widely. The simplest models will cost the least. Such devices, as a rule, will be the simplest in terms of control, and also take up the least space, they will be the most compact and lightweight.
Power is the next thing you need to look for. A more powerful device means that it has a stronger motor and will draw out more air which means your food will stay good for a longer time.
Seal is just as important as power, as you’d want the best seal possible. If a seal fails easily, this will destroy the shelf life of the food. It is best if you look for a device with a large sealing bar that makes a stronger and reliable seal.
Choose a model that is easy to use. There are models with automatic and manual control, but they may cost more. If you are on a budget, choosing a vacuum sealer with manual control is a better option. Check that all the controls to be easily accessible and well labeled, so you know which button does what.
Usually additional features include built-in bag holder, built in bag cutter, etc. True, the lack of these features will not affect the operation of the sealer, but it is nice to have them.
A household vacuum sealer is a fairly easy-to-clean device, since it does not have a direct contact with food. You just need to wipe it with a damp cloth from time to time and make sure that no dirt gets on the heating tape.
Warranty –always check the warranty period. If you wonder between two models, select the one of a reputable manufacturer.
We hope our recommendations for choosing a vacuum sealer will help you to easily choose the right one for your needs.