A big trend in the kitchen, vacuum storage extends the life of food through an air evacuation system. Packed in dedicated containers, fruits and vegetables, meat and fish lend themselves better to freezing or refrigeration, saving space as a bonus! Here’s everything you need to know about vacuum-packing food.
Everything you need to know about vacuum-packed food storage
Ensure the freshness of food, fruits and vegetables. To benefit from an optimal shelf life, it is advisable to store vacuum-packed foods in the freezer.
Preserve vitamins in the same way as freezing without altering the texture and taste of food. They retain their nutritional value. By storing leftovers for later consumption, vacuum-sealing can also reduce food waste .
The only downside to this preservation method is the need to use a plastic packaging system , which results in additional environmentally polluting waste.
How to store a vacuum-packed product?
Vacuum packing consists of removing the air from a packaging, for optimal protection and preservation of its contents. Vacuum packaging improves the preservation of food products, i.e. 3 to 5 times longer than under conventional preservation conditions. This practice slows down the fermentation process by blocking oxygen and the microorganisms responsible for contaminating and spoiling food.
In the case of conservation with a vacuum device , it is essential to use plastic bags intended for this purpose. They are necessarily thermo-weldable, resistant, cuttable and hermetic to water and air. Food vacuum bags must also be multi-layered and impermeable to water vapor and gas. In addition, the choice of bag depends on the vacuum packing machine used: Smooth vacuum bags for chamber vacuum machines; Embossed vacuum bags for vacuum sealers with external suction.
The vacuum preservation of food with a machine must respect certain conditions . Here are some practical tips for vacuum packing your food: Pack foods when they are at the lowest possible temperature. This prevents the emission of steam that could damage the machine.
Respect the hygiene measures both on cleaning and disinfection.
For liquids, package them in packaging long and wide enough so that they do not overflow. Indeed, the liquid tends to swell the bag during vacuum storage. Choose vacuum packaging according to the appliance and the food to be preserved.
Use vacuum boxes to store fragile products.
Set the vacuum pressure to a lower value while keeping a minimum of 98% vacuum or 20 mbar. Which vacuum machine to use? Two are the most common types of vacuum sealers:
Machines with external suction which are reserved for the vacuum preservation of solid products. Equipped with a small motor, this device is mainly used for small productions.
Bell machines which are reserved for more professional use. Efficient, they can accommodate both solid and liquid products. This type of device accepts any type of vacuum bag.
How to store vacuum-packed food without a device?
It is possible to preserve food under vacuum without a machine. All you need is a freezer bag with zip and a large bowl of very cold water. Place the food, raw or cooked, in the freezer bag; Close the bag leaving a small opening of 2 cm; Dip the bag gradually into the bowl of water, ensuring that the water is very cold; Remember to add ice cubes if necessary.
The longer the bag is immersed in cold water, the more air will be removed by the water pressure. Air will be forced out through the opening. Other tips:
Scrupulously respect hygiene measures , in particular disinfection and cleaning: utensils, hands and surfaces must be perfectly clean; Freeze fruit before vacuum packing; Fill the sachets, making sure that their end is perfectly smooth and without creases.