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Home > Shop by TAG > V > VacMaster SVP-15 > VacMaster Vacuum Sealers Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

Homestead Harvest VacMaster Vacuum Sealers Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

VacMaster Vacuum Sealers Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

What is vacuum packaging?

The process of removing air around a food product and then sealing the product in an impermeable package.

Why vacuum package?

To extend the shelf life of any fresh perishable product by three to five 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?

Some of the advantages include:

  • 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 sell.
  • Vacuum packaging reduces trim losses by eliminating oxidation and freezer burn.
  • Vacuum packaging can enhance product quality. Vacuum packaged meat held at 32º to 35º 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.

WARNING – If vacuum packaged food is not: top quality; fresh; prepared in a sanitary manner; at proper pH levels; 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.

Typical Shelf Lives of Vacuum Packaged Products

Some typical shelf lives of vacuum packaged refrigerated products, as compared to normal refrigeration, are:

Item Normal Refrigerated* Life Estimated Refrigerated* Life  when Vacuum Packed
Fresh Beef 3 days 12 days
Fresh Pork 4 days 15 days
Smoked Fish 1-2 weeks 3-6 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 ½ weeks 3-4 weeks
Sliced Deli Meats 1-2 days 2-3 weeks

(Typical Shrink Loss: ½ to 1 ½% without vacuum packaging.)  *(32º - 35º)

The above shelf lives may vary and can be affected by product freshness, acidity, pH level, temperature, ingredients, sanitation, and laminates used in pouch construction. The chart only contains approximate times and products should be checked for freshness before being consumed.

VacMaster Applications

OVER-PURCHASES OR BUY-INS Preserve quality and extend shelf life of stored raw foods – meats, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.
OVER-PRODUCTION Preserve cooked food without exposure to air or dehydration.
MEATS Portion and re-package for assured shelf life. Store (refrigerated or frozen and preserve quality of prime items for future use.
PRE-PREPARATION Prepare high cost specialty items in advance for serving on an “as needed” basis. Allows better use of slow times.
SPECIALTY MEALS Portion pack, identify, and preserve low volume menu selections or needs, (i.e., salt free, fat free). Save labor, time, and money through scheduling.
FREEZER Vacuum packaging prevents freezer burn and dehydration. It is excellent for freezer storage of meats, poultry, fish and vegetables – FRESH or COOKED. Save space with compact, clear, heavy-duty bags that are sealed under vacuum, easy to identify and date, sanitary and disposable.
CATERING Utilize more pre-production time by vacuum packaging bulk and portioned items.
BANQUETS Save over-production for upcoming events and menus. Reduces waste.
CHEESE Prevents drying, crumbling and molding of bulk and ground. Eliminates the labor cost of trimming and rewraps.
VEGETABLES Portion pack “in-season” product and refrigerate or freeze for later preparation. Re-package bulk quantities for menu rotation. Maintain salad freshness and crispness.
QUALITY AWARENESS Promotes better food handling and care. Takes extra care of stored foods. Will increase overall employee awareness of quality.
SANITATION Prevents cross contamination of flavors and aromas. Also prevents yield loss of products (i.e. blood, water).
DRY INGREDIENTS Re-package with airtight seal to prevent moisture absorption or infestation.
FORECASTING Vacuum packaging provides greater forecast flexibility by extending stored shelf life with protected flavor quality. With VacMaster, you can eliminate entrée “sell-outs” and increase customer satisfaction.
DELI MEATS Large bulk meat products can be sliced and packaged for customer appeal and self-service.
PIZZA Wrapping in plastic wrap gives a maximum of four day protection. VacMaster will improve the protection to seven to ten days, depending on pizza contents. Overall savings on preparation time by not having to fix pizzas as often and by reducing waste.
SMOKED MEATS Most smoked products contain a percentage of water. VacMaster prevents moisture evaporation (yield loss), plus provides an attractive tamper-resistant package.


Packaging Procedures for the VacMaster System


Vacuuming products will not automatically insure against spoilage. Good, clean packaging practices must be employed. Remember, a bad or contaminated product does not improve with vacuum packaging. The general rule is, if you put a fresh, good product in the pouch, you’ll get good fresh product our! Therefore, it is particularly important to:

Handling of Filled and Sealed Bags

VacMaster pouches are made of the finest virgin materials in a thickness suitable for handling, shipping and storing with only minimal care. Damage to packaged products may be avoided by adhering to these simple principles:

Questions? Comments? Criticism? New Product Ideas? Feedback? E-mail Customer Support

Homestead Harvest
PO Box 31125
Bellingham, WA 98228
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