Vacuum packing means insertion of food inside a bag or container, then evacuating of air surrounding the food, then sealing of bag or container with food under vacuum. Absence of air around food stops bacteria growth, which extend food product life (shelf life) & freshness noticeably for all foods affected by surrounding air such as meats, processed meats, fish, vegetables, cheese, etc. Vacuum packing machine or (Vacuum packer) is simply composed of packing chamber with heat sealing facility, chamber is connected to a vacuum pump which evacuates the chamber and accordingly food bag. Vacuum packers have several shapes & capacities according to food type, food nature, packing size, type of establishment, etc. The following are some shapes & types of commercial vacuum packers:
Horizontal vacuum packers:
Fig.18.6.3 Packing examples – KOMET – GERMANY
Fig.18.6.4 Double chamber vacuum packer – KOMET – GERMANY
Horizontal packers can also be provided with double chamber (Fig.18.6.4), for higher production rates.
Vacuum packers are suitable for super markets, cheese shops, large vegetable markets, small and medium food processors, central kitchen in hotels, hospitals, schools, etc.
- Materials; stainless steel with Plexiglas lid.
- With or without automatic opening of lid and open lid holder.
- Counter top or free sand.
- Stationary or mobile with castors (for free stand).
- Single or double chamber.
- Vacuum chamber dims; length x width x height in mm and maximum bag dims.
- With or without external vacuum connection; for containers evacuation (option).
- Number of sealing bars and each one length, position (chamber length or width), etc.
- With or without liquid packing device.
- With or without external vacuum facility; this option enables the operator to vacuum pack outside the chamber by shifting sealing bar to the end of lid.
- Vacuum pump capacity in m3/hr; larger means larger electric motor and quicker vacuum.
- Noise level.
- Control system; see vacuum packer control systems.
- See next examples.