Frozen Vacuum packing…is that essential

 

Definitions:

Vacuum packing or vacuum packaging is a system of packaging that removes air from the package prior to sealing. It can engage both rigid and flexible types of packaging. When we use the term ‘Vacuum Packaging’ we are really referring to a food packaging process known as ‘Reduced Oxygen Packaging’.

The definition of reduced oxygen packaging is ‘reducing the amount of oxygen in a package by mechanically evacuating the oxygen, replacing the oxygen with another gas, or otherwise controlling the oxygen content to a certain level below that which is normally found in the air’. Or more simply put ‘food in a package with less oxygen than normal’.

The air around us contains about 21% oxygen; the rest is carbon dioxide and nitrogen gases. The removal of the air from inside the food reduces oxidation of the food and helps to prevent spoilage. Oxidation is a key component in the process of spoilage. Foods that do not decay and go rancid but simply become stale can also benefit from vacuum packaging, as the absence of air prevents the foods from absorbing moisture.

When you change the atmosphere in a package of food, you change the environment in which different microbes can grow. There are advantages to this, but it also creates some different hazards as well. The vacuum packaging can extend distribution period by three times with unchanged freshness, taste, color, smell and nutrients. Vacuum packing is frequently used for long-term storage of dry foods such as cereals, nuts, cured meats, cheese, smoked fish, coffee, and potato chips (crisps).Vacuum packaging is extremely hygienic and allows the sterilization of packed matter.

Another nature of vacuuming is a vacuum evaporator usually contains three key fundamentals. The first factor is a heat exchanger that transmits heat from steam to the food product. The second factor is a vapor-liquid separator, and the last factor is a vacuum producer. This is typically operated by a steam ejector or a mechanical pump.

Table:

Food stored in the refrigerator

Regular storage

Vacuum storage

Boiled food

2 days

10 days

Fresh meat

2 days

6 days

Fresh poultry

2 days

6 days

Fresh fish

2 days

4-5 days

Cold meats

3 days

6-8 days

Smoked sausage

90 days

365 days

Hard cheese

12-15 days

50-55 days

Soft cheese

5-7 days

13-15 days

Fresh vegetables

5 days

18-20 days

Washed lettuce

3 days

6-8 days

Fresh fruit

3-7 days

8-20 days

Dessert

5 days

10-15 days

 

Vacuum Packing Frozen Food:

Vacuum packing of frozen foods also assists in decreasing the incidence of freezer burn. Freezer burn can take place as moisture is drawn from the food and the food becomes oxidized and dehydrated. Vacuum packed frozen foods resist freezer burn due to the absence of air in the package.

Types of food packaging

Normally we do have an immense range of packaging materials for food packaging. Depending on the food items, their position whether raw, fresh, cooked or grocery items, solid or liquid. Materials used in packaging food comprise paper, printed and coated plastics, cellulose films, aluminum foils. Available in the form of boxes, bags, pouches, sachets, rolls or sheets, food packaging can be laminated, lacquered, extrusion coated, or printed.

Packaging of fresh and frozen food

For packaging of fresh and frozen food, different materials like PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastic), nylon, PE lamination, aluminum foil are used as they have huge stamina under frozen conditions. They are presented in the form of pouches with easy sealing and opening features. There are stand up pouches which increase the shelf life of the food and are primarily made for frozen food items. When we mentioned frozen food, it contain ice creams, frozen fruits and vegetables etc. while the fresh food include poultry, meat, processed meat, seafood, convenience food, soups etc.

Advantage and disadvantage for vacuum packaging:

Advantage:

  • Extend shelf life
  • Slows the growth of spoilage organism
  • Prevent color changes
  • Prevent shrinking and moisture loss.

Disadvantage:

  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Misconception

After 6 months working with Pierre Akiki (NEXT IDEAZ), I learned the real meaning of Cost Control...