Monday, July 19, 2010

Retort Canning and Vacuum Sealers

Retort Canning With A Vacuum Packer

Retort canning with a vacuum packer allows you to preserve your own food but with many advantages over traditional cans. Below, I explain how a regular vacuum packer used to package food in plastic can also be used to "can" food in high quality retort pouches.

Why Do Your Own Canning?

Many of those who do their own canning intend to distribute and sell their finished products. Canning allows the product to be shipped great distances and reach more customers. Transportation and other costs can be kept to a minimum as the final product also has a long shelf life.

Retort Canning

Retort canning is a process used by food producers to, not only produce they are easily transportable stored cans of food, but also to destroy any bacteria in the can.

Bacteria naturally occur everywhere can be present in fresh food. If eaten quickly, such bacteria present no threat to people due to existing only in tiny amounts. However, extra precautions must be taken when packaging or canning food because bacteria will multiply to dangerous levels if given enough time. Evacuating the air will ensure the food lasts longer but it will not get rid of the bacteria. For maximum shelf life, the food must be treated to destroy any bacteria.

Retort canning involves putting the food into a sealed container or vessel called a retort. This is then subjected to a high temperature heat cycle, which kills bacteria such as the deadly neurotoxin, clostridium botulism. This sterilization process is sometimes also called pasteurization.

Canning With A Vacuum Packer

It is possible (and much cheaper compared to regular cans) to do your own retort canning with a vacuum packer.

Vacuum packers are usually used to seal food in plastic. The plastic pouch is evacuated of any air and a heat strip seals the open end. This is especially useful for dividing up a bulk food purchase.

They can also be used for retort canning. This requires the use of special retort pouches, which are a flexible plastic and metal foil laminate pouch that have become very popular on the supermarket shelf in recent years. In decades gone by, you may have seen them in the form of an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat, a US military field ration).

Retort pouches hold many advantages over traditional cans. They do not easily corrode, are sturdy and inexpensive. Compared to glass, there is no risk of breakage from dropping.

Some vacuum packers are dual purpose and let you can using retort pouches. Because retort pouches are thicker than plastic packaging, they require greater heat to seal them and for the heat to be applied for longer.

Once the pouch is sealed, it can be subjected to a sterilizing heat cycle in a pressure cooker or via other means.

Friday, July 9, 2010

College students utilize vacuum sealing to save money and space

For almost all college students, finances are a big problem and it’s something they are always looking to improve on. Most will try saving money by not eating healthy food or not eating as much, but there is a much better solution; VacUpack Lite.

VacUpack Lite, which are made by PMG Vacuum Packers,( ) is a vacuum sealer that allows students to buy food in bulk, rather than buying only a little at a time. The sealer will preserve any food that you can think of in the freezer and it’s easy to use.

Steven Yun, a 21 year-old college student at the University of Washington, said that not only would it help his finances, but it would also keep his refrigerator organized.
“As a college student, this would save me tons of money,” Yun said. “But more than that, it would save our refrigerator from being cluttered with rotting, molding and expired food.”
For Yun, health is something he worries about, so he said he finds himself too often throwing out food that could have been kept fresh.
“There are plenty of times where I have to throw out food due to improper storage,” Yun said. “Health is a big concern to me personally and if something doesn't seem as fresh as should be, then it will go in the trash.”
Being able to save leftovers is another positive factor of the VacUpack Lite, Yun said.
“I would definitely be able to effectively save more money with this kind of product,” Yun said. “Instead of throwing out foods sooner than I would like to, I would use the VacUpack Lite, as I would put it, a freshness extender. Also, because my family loves to leave leftovers, this product would be saving us tons of money in the long run.”

The VacUpack Lite is set at a reasonable price of $124.95, meaning in the long run, this would be a great way to save money on food expenses for college students.
For more information on the VacUpack Lite and other Vacuum Packers products, please visit and http://www.cookshacksmartsmoker/.com.

By Chris Wells
A freelance writer. For top quality original articals contact Chris at: