What is the best vacuum sealer?
When looking to purchase a new vacuum sealer or vacuum chamber you must consider the following questions:
- Am I using this in a home environment to help keep food fresher for longer?
- How many packages am I likely to do in a day?
- What is the size of the product I am going to vacuum pack?
- Should I use nitrogen flushing when sealing my products?
- How do I want my vacuum sealed product to look?
Am I using this in a home environment to help keep food fresher for longer?
If you are purchasing for home or domestic use, it is assumed that you will be vacuum sealing only a small number of packages daily or weekly. You will need a simple vacuum sealer. The domestic machines are a cost-effective entry level machine and will cover all the basic household needs, such as food storage improvement, through drawing the air directly out of the bag using the built-in pump. These are often known as ‘out of chamber’ vacuum sealers. Recent improvements in these machines means that they can increasingly handle more workload and faster speed. These machines are portable, compact and low on energy use.
How many packages am I likely to do in a day?
If you are packaging upward of 20 packages a day, up to about sixty, you would need to consider a larger out of chamber vacuum sealer. These vacuum sealers still sit on your benchtop and take up limited space, but they have a stronger motor, faster sealing times and generally more tough! If you are packaging upward of 100 packages a day you will need a commercial vacuum chamber.
What is the size of the product I am going to vacuum pack?
Most vacuum sealers and vacuum chambers offer flexibility in package size. So you can use the same vacuum sealer or vacuum chamber to pack a range of different sized products, and simply adjust the bag size to make it work. It is important to check the maximum dimensions of product that the vacuum sealer or vacuum chamber can take.
Do I need to use nitrogen flushing when vacuum sealing my products?
Packaging or sealing products in an airless environment has long been an effective way to protect items or enhance shelf life. The key to this longer shelf-life is removing the oxygen from the packaging as exposure to oxygen causes foods to deteriorate. In order to remove the oxygen you can remove all the air from the bag during the vacuum sealing process, or alternatively fill the bag with nitrogen when sealing.
If you are sealing sturdy products such as meats and cheeses, vacuum sealing works well as the product is robust enough the withstand all the oxygen being removed from the packaging. For more delicate foods where vacuum sealing the bag may cause the product to be crushed, nitrogen can be flushed in to replace the oxygen, meaning the product in the bag is protected (as the bag is more full) plus the likelihood of food spoiling is significantly reduced as the oxygen has been removed.
How do I want my vacuum sealed product to look?
If you are selling your vacuum sealed product in a retail sales situation you should consider if you need the bag to stand up, or hang on a display stand. If so a stand up pouch is the best option. Vacuum bags are the other option to use with a vacuum chamber and they are particularly easy to transport, but not so good for display purposes.
Venus Packaging, a leader in the flexible packaging industry in Australia is celebrating 60 years in business in 2019. Here, they provide a comprehensive analysis of vacuum packaging and how it might be good for your business.
Why vacuum pack?
Packaging or sealing products in an airless environment has long been an effective way to protect items or enhance shelf life.
Exposure to air aids the growth of bacteria in most foods. Sealing the food in a bag from which the air has been removed greatly inhibits bacterial growth. Food stays fresh longer and retains it’s flavour, nutritional value and sales appeal.
Which type of machine is right for you?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of machines: the domestic vacuum sealer and the commercial vacuum chamber.
The domestic machines (VH329 model pictured) are a cost-effective entry level machine and will cover all the basic household needs, such as food storage improvement, through drawing the air directly out of the bag using the built-in pump. These are often known as ‘out of chamber’ vacuum sealers and recent improvements in these machines means that they can increasingly handle more work load and faster speed. These machines are portable, compact and low on energy use.
The ‘commercial’ vacuum chambers (VH153V Vertical vacuum chamber pictured) are capable of higher output and many package multiple packages in one vacuum sealing cycle. With these machines, the product is bagged, placed inside the chamber and air extracted from the chamber and bag. These machines work fast and if used with the right vacuum bag provide a strong, tamper proof seal offering a professional finish for retail display. There are a range of these machines suitable for different packing needs, including double vacuum chambers, single chambers and stand up vacuum chambers for sealing liquids.
Which foods can be vacuum packed?
Any food can be vacuum packed, from raw meat to soups, but the unique characteristics if each food must be considered. For example a strong vacuum might crush delicate foods such as berries.
How long do vacuum packed foods last?
Some foods will last up to 5 times longer than without vacuum packing. But it depends on the type of food and its quality before packing. It is important to remember that foods that normally need to be kept cool to prevent spoilage still need to be refrigerated or frozen as usual.
What about vacuum bags?
The second part of the equation is the vacuum bags themselves. Not all vacuum bags are created equal! Type is important but so is quality. These bags are not simply a poly bag. Acceptable quality bags should be sealed on 3 sides and need to have multiple layers, (including nylon), and satisfactory micron thickness to provide the maximum barrier to oxygen which will preserve the packed item.
One must also be sure to use the correct bag variant. Due to the method of pumping the air out of bags, the domestic (‘out of chamber’) machines must always use bags that have specially designed channels in the plastic film. These channels give an unrestricted pathway for the air to flow out, and allows wrinkle free packaging. The vacuum bags for the commercial vacuum chamber machines are flat and smooth and present the packages item very professionally, for example, meat, fish, and small good. Whilst the commercial vacuum chambers are somewhat more expensive than the domestic, there are considerable savings to be found using the flat bags which should be considered when making your initial purchase.
As an exhibitor in the upcoming AUSPACK 2019 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, we were recently featured on the AUSPACK website.
We are excited to be exhibiting at the AUSPACK 2019 Expo in March at the Exhibition and Convention Centre in Melbourne, March 26 – 29th. Stand F020.
We will have many of our machines on display there, from entry level, through to fully automated packaging machinery. What may be of particular interest to our customers is the opportunity to test out these machines with your products. Our experienced technical and sales teams will be on hand to assist with finding the right packaging solution for your product.
Signs Publishing, a publishing house based in Warburton Victoria, is a long-term customer of ours, and have been in business since 1885.
Signs Publishing, print and distribute publications to customers around Australia including books, magazines and flyers.
The team at Signs has purchased several pieces of Venus Packaging machinery in recent years to improve their packing and dispatch processes. (more…)
Venus Packaging are proud to support organisations in the local community, including our close neighbor, Richmond Primary School. They recently held their Halloween Fest 2018. Venus was happy to supply the school with products, such as twine and cable ties to assist with setting up the school to look as good as it did!
Small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million would be aware of the instant write-off for assets under $20,000 purchased for business use. Eligible businesses can buy equipment related to their operations, and as long as each item is less than $20,000, they can claim an immediate tax deduction.
If you’re ready to upgrade from a manual packing process to a semi, or fully automatic process then perhaps this is now the right time. Please check our website for packaging options or contact us to discuss your operational needs, email@example.com.
Please seek independent tax advice for your business.
Venus Packaging is a proud supporter of Octopus for a Preemie. A Victorian organisation who hand make octopi for premature babies born in Victorian hospitals. The handmade crocheted octopus provides a soft comforter to the premature baby. The tentacles of the octopus are spiralled and have a similar feel to an umbilical cord. Everyone who works within this organisation are volunteers and most of them crocheters! They do a fantastic job for our community and we are proud to support them!
Filament tape is used largely in transportation and warehousing. Made with fibreglass strands to add extra strength to your packaging efforts, filament tape is the ideal solution for businesses that wish to improve the quality of packaging for their products whist in transit.
Our strapping, strapping machines and strapping hand tools are among some of our most popular products. Key points to consider if you are introducing stap packaging to your business or upgrading to an automated strapping machine:
This year we will be at Fine Food Australia at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 12th – 15th September.
This is a large expo aimed at the retail and food service sectors.
The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) recently ran an in-house corporate training program for Venus Packaging which was held at Amora Riverwalk Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne.