Vacuum food sealers are highly useful machines. But there are a few food items that should not be vacuum-sealed or require a few simple steps before they are safe to vacuum seal. These food items are often ones that contain anaerobic bacteria, which can grow without the presence of air.
Vacuum sealers are able to preserve food items by removing all oxygen around the food item and then keeping the vacuum-sealed package airtight. If there are anaerobic bacteria present, there is a chance of the food spoiling as this type of bacteria does not need oxygen to survive and the lack of oxygen will actually encourage the growth of pathogens present in these foods.
Most food items can be conveniently vacuum-sealed to vastly extend their shelf-life, whilst saving you some money and time. This article will look at the few various food items which should not be vacuum-sealed or food items that need to undergo quick preparation before they can safely be vacuum sealed.
Food Items That Should Not Be Vacuum Sealed
Due to their natural ripening process, fresh mushrooms may decay faster if vacuum sealed. Cooked mushrooms will vacuum-seal perfectly though!
Vacuum sealing fresh bananas can actually quicken their ripening time. But it is perfectly safe and easy to vacuum-seal bananas once they are peeled and frozen.
Raw Garlic & Onion
These food products produce a natural gas that may result in a loss in the vacuum which can leave them vulnerable to becoming spoiled.
It is perfectly safe to vacuum-seal hard cheeses, but soft cheeses such as blue cheese, brie, camembert, ricotta, and other soft and unpasteurized cheeses, can actually produce mould faster in a vacuum than in regular air.
Freshly Cooked Vegetables
Hot steam from cooking or steaming vegetables may cause a loss in a vacuum. So it is crucial to first let your hot vegetables come to room temperature before vacuum-sealing.
Apples will need to first be sliced before vacuum sealing. It is also recommended to lightly coat the apple slices with lemon juice as this will help to prevent any discolouration.
Food Items That Require Preparation Before Vacuum Sealing
There are some food items that need to be blanched before they can be safely vacuum sealed. Many common vegetables emit a natural gas when stored, and so if these vegetables are kept in a vacuum-sealed bag, the gas causes the vegetables to spoil. Therefore, to vacuum seal vegetables safely, it is best practice to first blanch them.
Blanching is a cooking process in which a food product, usually a vegetable or fruit, is dipped in boiling water, removed after a brief interval, and then plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to stop the cooking process. The blanched food items then need to be dried properly. From then, they can safely be vacuum sealed and frozen for later use. The vegetables that require this process generally belong in the Cruciferae or Brassicaceae family and include vegetables such as:
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
A vacuum sealer is great for so many uses in your home and can be a wonderful time and money saver when utilised safely. There are many food items like meat, vegetables, fruit, and other perishables that can easily and safely be vacuum sealed. The sealed food can then be frozen for a long period of time, and then thawed and eaten or cooked. Vacuum sealing is also great for sealing non-perishable items as well.
Because vacuum sealing keeps the sealed content secure from the elements (water, air, etc) it can be used in many ways to both protect items and also to store them safely. It is best to avoid vacuum sealing the food items mentioned in this article though as they will not be stored safely if vacuum sealed to extend their shelf life. Or, as mentioned, it is important to prepare some foods first if you plan on vacuum sealing them.
We hope this article will help you to safely use your vacuum sealer and enjoy all its wonderful convenience without any worries. A vacuum sealer can be a wonderful kitchen gadget if used correctly, so select and prepare your food items carefully and you will be able to safely enjoy the advantages of vacuum sealing your food.