Vacuum sealing has been used ever since the 1940’s by food manufacturers to prolong the shelf life of perishable food items. The technique was found to be extremely efficient as it prevented spoilage of products that were transported over long distances. In time, vacuum packaging became more and more popular and widely available.
The benefits of vacuum sealing and freezing vegetables
- Vacuum sealed items won’t get ‘freezer burned’ – no particles of ice formed inside the products
- It stops the growth of mold and prevents most bacteria from spreading
- Keeps food fresh for longer and preserves the taste
- Saves freezer space by removing the unnecessary air that takes up so much space
- Expands shelf life – most conventionally frozen food items have a shelf life of a few months while vacuum sealing extends it to 1-3 years, depending on the produce.
How to store vacuum sealed food
Vacuum sealing food items doesn’t prevent all types of bacteria from spreading, but only those that need oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria, which don’t require oxygen to reproduce, can still thrive in vacuum sealed products if stored inappropriately. This is why vacuum sealed food should always be stored in a refrigerator at 41-45 degrees Fahrenheit or a freezer, at zero degrees.
Freezing vegetables and meat yourself instead of buying them already frozen might turn out to be less expensive and safer, since you have full control over the entire process. Not to mention that freezing vegetables from your own garden will allow your family to enjoy their fresh test and nutritious content for the whole year.
How to vacuum seal your food
Boneless meat should be washed, dried, and sealed while still fresh. Make sure there’s no bone that might tear up the bag.
Fruits should be peeled and cut into smaller pieces before vacuum sealing. Berries can be pre-frozen on a cookie sheet and vacuum sealed once hardened, to avoid crushing.
Freezing vegetables can be tricky. In order to make sure that they won’t get all mushy, and to extend their shelf life and health properties, it’s indicated to blanch all vegetables for maximum 4 minutes in boiling water and place them in ice-cold water immediately after. Drain the water and seal the blanched vegetables to keep their taste and texture for as long as possible.
Never store sealed cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.) without blanching. When kept in airtight packaging, these vegetables emit gasses that will make the plastic bags expand and the products will spoil faster.
Freezing vegetables in small portions is always a good idea. Don’t forget to write down the date and make sure to consume the products in the indicated time spawn.
Avoid vacuum packaging mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, soft cheese, and garlic. Also, while celery can be vacuum sealed, freezing them is not recommended. Instead, they may be stored in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.
How to choose the best vacuum sealer
Today, vacuum sealing is no longer available only to food manufacturers and packing companies. Portable devices are easy to find and really affordable. Countertop vacuum sealers are more expensive but they can seal larger food items. Therefore, choosing the right vacuum sealer really depends on the quantity of food you want to store. For a regular household, a handheld sealer might be more than enough.
NutriChef Vacuum Sealer is a compact device with an automatic vacuum air sealing system that makes it incredibly easy to use. It also comes with a full starter kit, including 5 medium vacuum bags, an extra-long vacuum bag roll, and a wine stopper cork. The two sealing modules seem particularly useful and practical, allowing the sealing of both solid and simmered/steamed food items. All in all, it seems like the best way to store food and keep it fresh for a long period of time.
Visit our FAQ for more information.