Our Guide To Vacuum Packaging
What is a Vacuum Pouch?
A vacuum pouch is a high quality variety of plastic packaging designed to increase the safety and shelf life of the product sealed inside. While most commonly used for food, it has many other applications also.
A vacuum pouch is created of several layers of plastic laminated together, which serve as oxygen and moisture barriers, protecting the product inside. The product is inserted inside the bag then, using a vacuum packing machine, all the air is removed from the bag before it is sealed, creating a vacuum inside.
This gives the bag its name, as a vacuum prevents oxygen from reaching the food inside, which stops it from deteriorating or growing mold for far longer than ordinary packaging would.
Why should I use a Vacuum Pouch?
✓ Greatly increased shelf life
On average meat kept refrigerated lasts 1-2 days in normal packaging, but up to 2 weeks with vacuum packaging. Other products also gain far longer shelf life
Vacuum pouches present a product well, and you can print straight onto a vacuum pouch for even better presentation
✓ Food Safety
With a vacuum created inside, your product is guaranteed against growing most types of mold and against deterioration
Types of Vacuum Pouches:
- Standard Vacuum Pouches are fully transparent and have a gauge, or thickness, of 70 micron
- These are the most commonly used and versatile type of vacuum pouch
- We stock the widest range of sizes in this type with around 50 options available
- They can be used to pack almost anything except something with very sharp edges or liquids.
- Products can be either refrigerated or frozen in them.
- Heavy Duty Vacuum Pouches are fully transparent and have a gauge, or thickness, of either 100 or 120 micron
- These are best used for sharp or very heavy products
- They are also a good choice is you want to sous vide or boil your product inside a vacuum pouch.
- Gold or Black Backed vacuum pouches are very similar to standard pouches, except that they have a transparent front and coloured back panel to help improve retail presentation of the product.
- Stand Up vacuum pouches have a solid base they rest on, which allows them to stand up vertically
- This makes them great for packaging liquids or powders, or anything else likely to spill in
- They come in the standard 70 micron thickness
- Some sizes are available with tear-nick and zip-lock options for better ease of use for the end user.
- These bags work well with the Viking V295 vertical vacuum sealer, which allows you to seal the bags while preventing them from spilling
How to Use Vacuum Pouches:
Using a vacuum pouch is very simple, as long as you have the correct equipment. You will require a vacuum packer to be able to properly vacuum and seal these machines. We recommend using a chamber vacuum packer for the best results.
Simply fill the pouch with your product, making sure to leave a few centimeters spare at the top. Place the vacuum bag inside your vacuum packer with the open side overlapping the seal bar.
Then follow the machine’s instructions to vacuum then seal the bag and you end up with a safe, perfectly-sealed bag that will keep your product fresh far longer.
We offer full-colour, located rotogravure printing on a wide range of pouches customized to your needs. This includes various thicknesses or specialties such as stand-up gusseted, tear-nick, zippers or a hang-hole. Our internal design team can help you work out the design and specifications that will suit you best.
Both vacuum pouches and shrink bags create a vacuum inside a bag and then seal it off. However, shrink bags are made of plastic which is designed to wrap tight around a product when placed in hot water after being sealed, while vacuum pouches are not.
None of our vacuum pouches can be put in an oven or microwave. However, the heavy duty pouches can easily be used for gentler cooking methods such as sous vide, boiling or retort cooking process.
While a vacuum pouch like these can work with a home sealer, it is not ideal, and may not give you the best results. Home sealers are designed to be used with orved vacuum pouches, a different, more expensive, type of bag.
The time will depend on the product that you have packed off, and the way you store it. As a general rule, frozen food that is vacuum sealed lasts an average of 2-3 years, while it will last 6-12 months, on average, stored in other ways. Most vacuum sealed foods will last in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, which is much longer than the typical 1-3 days food will last when stored conventionally in a refrigerator.
The most common types of products packed in our vacuum pouches include Smallgoods, meat, dairy, pre-cooked foods, liquids, bakery goods as well as many more. While vacuum pouches will provide more benefit to some products than others, as long as you need to ensure product safety and shelf life, vacuum pouches will be of use to you.