Friday, September 26, 2014

Make the Ultimate Halloween Candy Stash with Vacuum Sealing

As a parent, you may have mixed feelings about leftover Halloween candy. You don’t want your kids to eat it all at once—but there’s only so much you can do with all that sugar, and after a while the candy can start to go bad and create sticky, melted messes in unexpected places.

Conventional storage methods can only preserve Halloween candy for so long. But with vacuum packing, you can keep candy fresh until next Halloween, and even beyond.

Why should you vacuum pack Halloween candy?

When your kids bring home a big haul on Halloween, you need a safe place to store all those sweets. Vacuum sealing keeps Halloween candy from going stale over time, so it’s just as tasty as the day it arrived even months later.

Another great reason to use vacuum packaging is to save money for your own Halloween candy-giving. You can hit stores in the days after Halloween and buy discounted candy, which is often up to 90 percent off as stores clear out for Christmas, and keep it vacuum sealed for next year. You’ll have fresh candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters, and you won’t have to fight through the crowds to buy it.

How vacuum sealing preserves Halloween candy

High sugar foods keep best when they’re kept cool and dry, but ordinary packaging and conventional storage lets in air, moisture, and even insects. The vacuum packing process removes oxygen from the packaging, keeping candy from becoming dry, brittle, or stale and maintaining the natural moisture balance.

This is especially important for chocolate candy, which contains cocoa butter. Removing the oxygen prevents the cocoa butter from becoming rancid and spoiling the candy.

What kind of candy can you vacuum pack?

Pressed sugar candies such as Smarties, lollipops, hard candies, and candy sticks (including candy canes) perform best with vacuum sealing. These types of candies can stay fresh, edible, and tasty for years in vacuum packages, even when stored at room temperatures.

Chocolate is also a great candidate for vacuum packing. When prepared properly, you can vacuum seal and store chocolate for a year or longer without losing any flavor or moisture. You may choose to store vacuum packed chocolate in the fridge or freezer for an even more extended shelf life.

Candies with cream or liquid centers or filling are the toughest to store using any method. The process of vacuum sealing this type of candy in vacuum bags can crush them, leaving you with a mess in a bag, and they also may not stay fresh as long as other types of candies. However, you can store cream or liquid filled candies for a limited time by freezing them before vacuum packing, or by vacuum sealing them in canning jars with a vacuum jar attachment.

Vacuum sealing is a great way to extend the life of your Halloween candy stash, and start saving lots of money on your Halloween candy purchases. You can even buy family favorite treats while they’re on sale after Halloween, and enjoy them all year round without having them go stale.

Image courtesy of Rochelle Hartman
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