Optimise your costs with vacuum packaging for food

Vacuum packaging of food is becoming increasingly popular in the industry. And for good reason, because this packaging has many advantages. The technology is beneficial for your everyday life as a producer as well as for the satisfaction of your customers.


Optimise the production of your food. This is all the more important as production costs have skyrocketed. These rising costs are due to energy prices, among other things. Limit losses, adjust throughput or refine logistics. These levers are among the savings opportunities to be explored. Vacuum packaged food is one answer to these challenges. This type of packaging allows you to maintain your claims on the quality of your deliveries. It can even strengthen them.


two pieces of vacuum packed meat
Image source: bigaris

Vacuum-packed food is beneficial for health security

Vacuum packaging of food extends its quality to an optimal level in the long run. The process extends the time between preparation, e.g. cutting steaks or ham, and consumption. Food of all kinds naturally tends to spoil over time. Storing them throughout the days reduces waste and the associated costs. Vacuum packaging technology helps you, as a food producer, to ensure the health safety of your products. It can be integrated into your procedures to ensure legal hygiene and safety standards.


Packaging food in vacuum bags provides a protective barrier

The primary purpose of vacuum packaging is to physically protect the food. The food is encased in a multi-layered plastic that acts like a second skin. The plastic bag that encloses the beef steak, the vegetable cubes or even the salmon fillets protects them from any external contamination. This is one of the main tasks of packaging. This barrier prevents pathogens or even foreign elements from coming into contact with the food. This packaging is airtight and also prevents anything from leaking. In this way, it contributes to the good maintenance of your production facilities.


When vacuum packing food, the air is forced out of the bag of the container. This prevents the food from coming into contact with oxygen until it is opened for consumption. This gas is involved in certain reactions that affect the appearance and taste of food. It is responsible for the rancidity process of lipids found in meat, for example. It is also responsible for the oxidation of cut fruit. Vacuuming saves them from this source of spoilage.


Storing food in a vacuum slows down its spoilage

The removal of oxygen during vacuum packaging of food slows down the growth of the aerobic microorganisms present. Food, whether meat, fish or even fruit, has a natural microbial flora.


It develops more or less depending on the storage conditions. Some fungi and bacteria can only affect the appearance of the products. Others, however, can prove to be toxic. Chicken and beef steaks, especially minced meat, are the most sensitive foods. Vacuum packaging allows food to be stored safely.


You can also opt for modified atmosphere vacuum packaging. The effects here are also that the growth of microorganisms and the spoilage of the food are restricted. In this technique, after the air in the bag has been displaced or not, a gas is injected into the bag. This can be nitrogen, carbon dioxide or an increase in oxygen content. This adaptation of the storage method is preferably suitable for certain applications. O2, for example, preserves the colour of red meat. It also preserves fish, shellfish or fruit and vegetables.


Optimise the vacuuming of food

To ensure optimal shelf life, vacuum pack the food as soon as possible after the last processing. That means in your production facility, directly after cutting, chopping, marinating or cooking. Before packing your food, handle it as little as possible to avoid contamination of the parts. Compliance with classical hygiene procedures is, of course, still essential. Ensuring that food is safe for the consumer's health remains the primary goal.


There are a variety of machines and technologies to ensure the vacuuming of food. The choice depends on the type of product you need to pack. The size of the parts or batches to be packed and the throughput to be ensured also guide the choice of equipment. So is the number of tables. It may be that your production requires several vacuum pumps. Installing a central system could then give you a big energy saving. It can be reduced by half. There are also devices (boosters) that speed up the vacuum process. This way you can increase your throughput or reduce the time you need for this step of food packaging.


Vacuum packaging extends the shelf life of foods

Even after placing in the vacuum tray, refrigeration is essential for the shelf life of the food. In the refrigerator at 2 to 3 °C, a piece of meat remains edible for 15 days instead of 2 to 3 days in a butcher's paper. This method therefore postpones the best-before date. Unlike simple freezing, this storage technique preserves the nutritional value and taste of the food.


Vacuum-packed products can also be stored in the freezer. At -18 °C, a piece of beef can be stored for up to 6 months. Extending the best-before dates makes storage more flexible. Storage also benefits from the double skin of the plastic bag that adheres to the food. With the same number of pieces, the space requirement is lower compared to conventional trays.


Vacuum packaging preserves the taste quality of food

Within minutes of opening, fresh and cooked vacuum-packed food looks the same as before. There is no burning, which sometimes occurs when exposed to frost during freezing. The fibres of the meat do not change either. When the food reaches room temperature again, it does not release excess water. Packing flank steaks, chops and other steaks in a bag with an airtight seal also ensures that the flavour is preserved and no odours are produced during storage. Vacuum packing even accelerates the maturation of the beef. So this step sublimates the quality for the consumer.


Vacuum packaging of food extends its shelf life in the cold. It offers a health guarantee and preserves the quality of the food over time. More and more industrial companies and food professionals are opting for this solution. Like all industrial processes, this step requires strict maintenance to maintain its effectiveness over time.