How Vacuum Packing Your Food Increases Shelf Life

It’s frustrating to open your fridge and realise a key ingredient for a meal you were hoping to eat has gone out of date! Keeping food at its ‘freshest’ is often desirable- but can make you feel an urgency to eat it within a short time frame, often just a couple of days. However, vacuum packing your food is a simple solution if you want to preserve your food and increase its shelf life. Not to mention, it’ll save you money!

Vacuum packing food started in the 1940s and it helped to prolong food shelf life, especially for food that required longer transportation. It was popularly used to preserve foods for longer during World War II- and serves the same purpose today.

You will see many vacuum-packaged products on the shelves of supermarkets. It can also be achieved at home and is a great way of increasing shelf life.

Why vacuum seal food?

When exposed to bacteria, food can lose its taste and appearance, as well as have the potential to make you quite poorly. Mold, fungi and bacterias (such as psychrotrophs, thermophiles and mesophiles,) can reproduce and multiply. They can affect your food quite quickly and cause it to be inedible- sometimes sooner than you would have liked.

However, these bacterias need oxygen to multiply. This is where vacuum packing is ideal! By packaging food within a vacuum (which takes away the oxygen,) the growth of bacteria is prevented, making it an excellent way to prolong the life of certain foods. This type of preservation can also prohibit freezer burn.

How else can vacuum packing help?

Vacuum sealers help when it comes to batch cooking. Whether it’s portioning out meat or vegetables for the weeks ahead, or it’s mixing and matching meals for your family, vacuum bags make batch cooking very simple- food can be ready to be stored in the fridge or freezer until use.

Meat, when vacuum sealed, can be kept for a long time in a freezer- sometimes years! Likewise, keeping meat in vacuum bags (stored in the fridge,) will prolong the life by a week or two. This is very beneficial for meal prep and planning. It’s also a savvy money saving tip, especially for families who require larger portions of food or meals. Another advantage is that food can be cooked more quickly at the time of requirement.

By preparing your food in this way, waste can be reduced: missing expiration dates can be prevented, stopping the amount of food waste that a person might normally throw away.

In addition to this, vacuum bags also provide safe food hygiene- in a way that other packaging or storing may not. This is because sealing food (inside a ‘vacuum,’) protects it from being handled too much, and aids the prevention of cross-contamination. Vacuum packing is a method of storing food, in a way that is secure and separate. Not only this, but it helps to retain the flavour, appearance, and health benefits of the food- ready for you to cook and eat whenever you want to enjoy it!

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