Food waste is at an alarmingly high rate. According to the Food and Drug Administration, between 30 and 40 percent of America's food supply is lost or wasted yearly. An NGO called Waste & Resources Action Program has calculated that each year in the United Kingdom 6.6 million tons of food are wasted.
Vacuum technology is essential to enhancing food packaging and processing, which will decrease food waste. Vacuum technology enables us to do the following:
- Keep food fresh for extended periods.
- Refrigerate food efficiently
- Preserve fish and meat
These three methods, if widely used, could help drastically cut down on food waste in the years to come.
1. Vacuum Packing Preserves Food's Freshness for Extended Durations
Oxygen is one of the leading causes of food decay. It's because the microorganisms on the surface of the food consume the oxygen as they digest it.
There are two ways that vacuum sealing helps in preserving food. First, it keeps germs like bacteria and fungi from getting to the food. Second, after the seal is placed, any microorganisms on the food are deprived of oxygen and perish.
Rotary vane pumps and dry screw pumps are the most frequent kinds of vacuum pumps used for vacuum sealing food. Since there is no oil seal in a dry screw pump, it may go longer without servicing.
2. Vacuum Cooling Helps Keep Products Fresher for Longer
One of the best methods to ensure long shelf life is to quickly chill fruits and vegetables. Cold temperatures effectively prevent the multiplication of any microorganisms present on the surface of the meal. This chilling process should occur as soon as possible following harvest.
Vacuum cooling is a fast and effective method for preserving food. It takes less than half an hour to chill a container to the shipping temperature. The most popular pumps for this application are dry screws and rotary vane pumps.
The created vacuum typically sits from 6 mbar to 23 mbar. Evacuation levels below 6 mbar must be avoided when vacuum cooling produce, as this will cause the water to freeze. Freezing causes cellular damage, altering a food's flavor and texture.
3. Vacuum Drying Stops the Deterioration of Meat and Fish
Drying fish and meat has been an effective method of food preservation for millennia. Sun and smoke were the most common in ancient times. Now, vacuum can do a better job with more accuracy and in much less time.
When using a vacuum pump to dehydrate food, there are two common techniques:
- Vacuum Microwave Drying (VMD)
- Lyophilization or Freeze Drying (FD)
VMD uses microwaves to heat the food between 35 and 60 degrees Celsius. At the same time, a vacuum pump keeps the pressure around 10 mbar.
FD involves cooling the product to between -20 and -40 degrees Celsius. Once the ice has solidified, a vacuum is drawn to a pressure of less than -1 mbar. Due to this, the food's moisture will evaporate and become sublimable.
Single-stage rotary vane pumps are used in VMD, whereas double-stage models are in FD. Dry screw pumps may accomplish the same results.
Get the Perfect Vacuum Pump for Food Packing
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