What does removing the air do?
The vacuum packaging process extends the life of foods by removing most of the air from the sealed container, thereby reducing oxidation, which affects nutritional value, flavor and overall quality. Removing air can also inhibit growth of microorganisms, which can cause problems under certain conditions:
Mold - Easily identified by its fuzzy characteristic. Mold cannot grow in a low oxygen environment, therefore vacuum packaging can virtually eliminate it.
Yeast - Results in fermentation, which can be identified by smell and taste. Yeast needs water, sugar and a moderate temperature to grow. It can also survive with or without air. Slowing the growth of yeast requires refrigeration, while freezing stops it completely.
Bacteria - Results in an unpleasant odor, discoloration and/or soft or slimy texture. Under the right conditions, clostridium botulinum (the organism that causes Botulism) can grow without air and cannot be detected by smell or taste. Although it is extremely rare, it can be very dangerous.
Why Vacuum Package?
What storage temperatures are safe?
To preserve foods safely, it is critical that you maintain low temperatures. You can significantly reduce the growth of microorganisms at temperatures of 40°F (4°C) or below. Freezing at 0°F (-17°C) does not kill microorganisms, but stops them from growing. For long-term storage, always freeze perishable foods that have been vacuum packaged.
It is important to note that vacuum packaging is not a substitute for canning and it cannot reverse the deterioration of foods. It can only slow down the changes in quality. It is difficult to predict how long foods will retain their top-quality flavor, appearance or texture because it depends on age and condition of the food on the day it was vacuumed packaged.
IMPORTANT:Vacuum packaging is NOT a substitute for refrigeration or freezing. Any perishable foods that require refrigeration must still be refrigerated or frozen after vacuum packaging.
What are the benefits of vacuum packaging?
Foods keep their freshness up to five times longer. Foods don't get freezer burn for several years because they don't come in contact with cold, dry air. There are many benefits to vacuum packaging:
You save money:
Foods last longer, so you throw less away. You can buy lower-priced bulk quantities and re-package at home into smaller portions exactly the size you want. Leftovers stay fresh in the freezer for several months.
You save time:
Make fewer trips to the grocery store because foods will last longer. Cook several portions when you have time and vacuum packaging single servings in a bag or right onto plates. Marinate meat and fish in minutes instead of hours.
Enjoy your favorite foods all year, even when they are out of season. Protect non-food items from corrosion and moisture-damage. Create first aid and emergency kits in the home, car and boat. Outdoor enthusiasts can vacuum package supplies to keep them clean and dry.