Many of us buy food items in bulk and freeze them or simply purchase frozen food items to save time. You can choose to vacuum pack fresh food using the Berkel Vacuum Packaging Machine, at home and ensure a safer product.
Packaged meat is available easily in the market, wherein the main concern of the packaging companies is a fresh deliverable. The packaging of meat depends on the type of meat, as well as its freshness. Let us see how you can vacuum pack meat and preserve it in the best possible way.
Considerations and benefits of vacuum packaging
Before packaging, consider the freshness of the fish or meat at the time of purchase, proper storage and reuse after removing the seal pack. Vacuum packaged food stays longer in the freezer, just like when the meat or seafood is fresh, when purchased from the butcher shop. Packaging protects the food from the following:
- Dirt contamination
- Microbes and parasite contamination
- Contamination by toxic substances
- Any other changes in smell, taste and color as well as moisture.
Packaging basically protects the meat from undesirable microbiological and physiochemical changes.
Tips to consider when vacuum packaging
Clean the meat thoroughly and fast-dried it, after buying from the market. Store meat as required, in smaller portions and then vacuum seal them in smaller batches. Flash freeze or short-term freezing helps to maintain the flavor and identity in freezer bags.
- Place the small pieces of meat or seafood in large sized vacuum-able bags along with a sachet of oxygen scavengers or oxygen absorbers to extend shelf life and maintain safety. A folded kitchen tissue paperat the insert or the opening to absorb any juice during the vacuum sealing process.
- Follow the same process for medium sized meat or fish.
- Cover the pieces appropriately if the sharp bones jut out.
- Store the whole chicken or turkey using the same procedure, however, the chest cavity can trap air, which can be detrimental to the preservation endeavor. Use the advanced functions in the vacuum packaging machine available is a few models to suck the trapped air.
- Meat compatible vacuum bags are available to pre-freeze whole chicken and add the oxygen absorbing sachet.
- Seal and mark all the bags with a date and time of packaging. This helps in using the older batches first. Even though vacuum packed meat, stays fresh and uncontaminated for months, however, it is best to consume it within 6 months.
- Meat is red when fresh and packed. Its color changes when contaminated. Look for those changes along with a strong odor when opened, indicating contamination. The color change to purple with an odor indicates possible bacterial action in the anaerobic atmosphere.
- Though meat gives a strong odor after opening vacuum seal pack meat which subsides in 20 – 30 minutes, check for other indicators that suggest it is safe to consume. When in doubt and throw in to ensure safety.
These tips are beneficial for any food, high in moisture content – natural, juicy or marinated. Invest in this affordable vacuum packaging machine, if you indulge in long term storage, bulk storage and sealing, sous vide cooking or short term sealing.