VacMaster Vacuum Sealers & Vacuum Packaging Machines

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Questions and Answers About Vacuum Packaging

What is Vacuum Packaging?
The process of removing air around a food product and then sealing that product in an impermeable package.

Why Vacuum Package?
To extend shelf life of any fresh perishable product by 3 to 5 times its normal refrigerated life.

How is Shelf Life Extended Under Vacuum?
Removing the air that surrounds food inhibits growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast, because these and other spoilage microorganisms need oxygen to grow. Once most air is removed and the pouch is sealed, oxygen levels continue to drop while carbon dioxide levels increase. The low oxygen, high carbon dioxide environment significantly reduces the growth of normal spoilage organisms, allowing longer shelf life.

Do Vacuum Packaged Products Still Need to be Refrigerated?
Yes. Some organisms are resistant to high carbon dioxide levels. Their growth is slowed at lower temperatures.

Who Should Vacuum Package?
Anyone who buys, sells, transports, or stores perishable food products.

What are Some Special Advantages of Vacuum Packaging?

  • Vacuum packaging allows for money saving quantity buying. Products such as cheese, continental small goods, fish, bacon, coffee and nuts, processed meats and many other food items may be bought in bulk at a lower price and then pre-packaged by either a central warehouse or in each supermarket or restaurant outlet.
  • Vacuum packaging reduces product shrinkage. There is no moisture loss or evaporation in a sealed vacuum bag. Therefore, the weight you package will be the weight you buy or sell.
  • Vacuum packaging reduces trim losses by eliminating oxidation and freezer burn.
  • Vacuum packaging can enhance product quality. Vacuum packaged meat held at 32° to 35° F does not hinder "aging" or tenderizing.
  • Vacuum packaging allows more efficient use of time. Food can be prepared in advance without loss of freshness, so slack times are more productive and busy times are more manageable

Typical Shelf Lives of Vacuum Packaged Products

Item Normal Refrigerated Life Estimated Refrigerated Life (Vacuum Packaging)
Fresh Beef and Veal 1-2 Weeks 6 Weeks
Fresh Pork 1-2 Weeks 2 Weeks
Smoked Fish 1-2 Weeks 6-12 Weeks
Fresh Fish 1-2 Days 1 Week
Fresh Produce 2-4 Days 1-2 Weeks
Fresh Poultry 1-2 Days 1 Week
Smoked Meats 2-4 Weeks 6-12 Weeks
Pizza 1-2 Days 1 Week
Cheese 1-1 1/2 Weeks 6-12 Weeks
Sliced Deli Meats 1-2 Days 6-12 Weeks

* The shelf lives may vary and can be affected by product freshness, acidity, pH level, temperature, ingredients, sanitation, and laminates used in pouch construction.

Warning: If vacuum packaged food is not: Top quality; fresh; prepared in a sanitary manner; at proper pH level; and, stored at an appropriate temperature, it may not reach optimum shelf life and could be harmful to a person's health if consumed. Vacuum packaging is not a substitute for canning. Perishable foods must be refrigerated.