Vacuum sealers have been around for some time, but there are many things you may not know about them. First of all, no vacuum cleaners are involved, however, a lot of suction is. Vacuum sealers are used to protect and preserve food. There are a few things you should know about vacuum sealers before making a purchase, starting with the different kinds of sealers available.
Vacuum sealers are ideal for packaging a wide variety of foods. You see food in the grocery store packaged this way all the time, whether you realize it or not. Beef jerky, salmon steaks, potato chips and dried fruit are just a few of the items you may find.
Vacuum sealers essentially remove or replace natural air. In the case of beef jerky, 99.99 percent of the air is removed, making it near impossible for bacteria to cultivate. With potato chips, natural air (which includes life giving oxygen) is removed and replaced with an inert gas, such as nitrogen. Because potato chips are so fragile, removing 99.9 percent of the air would damage the product.
There are two main types of vacuum sealers used for packaging food. These are external and chamber vacuum sealers. Both sealers are used to remove air, but have different purposes and are used for a range of different products. Before making a vacuum sealer purchase, be sure you are getting the right kind.
External vacuum sealers are similar to the models seen on TV or sold in a department store for home use. This doesn’t mean all external vacuum sealers are for home use. Some external vacuum sealers are designed for industrial packaging use.
With an external vacuum sealer, place your product in a bag and place the open end into the sealer. The sealer will remove the air and seal the open end, preventing air from re-entering the bag. External vacuum sealers cannot be used with delicate products such as potato chips due to the fact they cannot replace the air with an inert gas.
Chamber vacuum sealers are the most common machines used for industrial packaging. Chamber vacuum sealers still use bags, like the external models, but the packaging process is much different.
With a chamber sealer, the product is placed in a bag, after which the entire bag is placed in the chamber. Once ready, the chamber hood is pulled down. The machine then removes 99.9 percent of the air within the chamber and seals the open end of the bag. The atmosphere within the camber is then returned back to normal. The sealed bag is now vacuum packaged and ready for sale or storage. Part of the process, if needed, can involve removing the air and replacing it with an inert gas. The amount of air removed from the chamber can also be adjusted as needed.
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