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4 Main Types of Vacuum Packing Technology in Food Industry

Vacuum packing is a method of packaging that removes air from the package prior to sealing. This method involves (manually or automatically) placing items in a plastic film package, removing air from inside, and sealing the package. Shrink film is sometimes used to have a tight fit to the contents. The intent of vacuum packing is usually to remove oxygen from the container to extend the shelf life of foods and, with flexible package forms, to reduce the volume of the contents and package.

There are a variety of vacuum solutions that will match your needs and applications, including a wide range of vacuum packaging options, from smaller professional vacuum packaging machines, to larger heavy-duty commercial chamber vacuum packers and vacuum sealers.

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Single Vacuum Chamber Machines

Single chamber sealers require the entire product to be placed within the machine. Like external sealers, a plastic bag is typically used for packaging. Once the product is placed in the machine, the lid is closed and air is removed. Then, there is a heat seal inside the chamber that will seal the bag, after sealing the bag the chamber is refilled with air by the automatic opening of a vent to the outside. This oncoming pressure squeezes all remaining air in the bag. The lid is then opened and the product removed. Chamber sealers are typically used for low-to-medium-volume packaging. This style of vacuum machine is also capable of sealing liquids due to equal pressure in the chamber and the bag eliminating the risk of the liquid being suck out of the open edge of the bag.

 

Double Vacuum Chamber Machines

Double chamber sealers require the entire product to be placed in a plastic bag within the machine. Once the product is placed in the machine on the seal bar, the lid is closed and air is removed. Then a seal bar inside the chamber seals the product in the bag, after sealing the bag the chamber is refilled with air by the automatic opening of a vent to the outside. This oncoming pressure squeezes all remaining air in the bag. The lid is then opened and the product removed. Double chamber sealers are typically used for medium-volume packaging, and also have the capability to vacuum seal liquids. The lid generally swings from one side to another, increasing production speed over a single chamber model. Double chamber vacuum packaging machines generally have either spring-weighted lids or fully automatic lids.

Double chamber vacuum packaging machines are commonly used for:

  • Fresh Meat
  • Processed Meat
  • Cheese (hard and soft)
  • Candy & Chocolate

 

Automatic Belt Vacuum Chamber Machines

Automatic belt chamber sealers require the entire product to be placed in a plastic bag or flow wrapped pouch within the machine. The product travels on the conveyor belt, it is automatically positioned in the machine on the seal bar, the lid is closed and air is removed. Then a seal bar inside the chamber seals the product in the bag. After sealing the bag, the chamber is refilled with air by the automatic opening of a vent to the outside. This oncoming pressure squeezes all remaining air in the bag. The lid is then opened and the product removed. Automatic belt vacuum chamber machines are typically used for high-speed packaging of large items, and also have the capability to vacuum seal liquids. The lid generally travels straight up and down.

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Thermoforming Vacuum Packaging Machines

As one type of vacuum machine for food packaging, vacuum packaging in large production facilities can be done with thermoforming machines. These are Form-Fill-Seal style machines that form the package from rolls of packaging film (webbing). Products are loaded into the thermoformed pockets, the top web is laid and sealed under a vacuum, producing vacuum packaged products. Thermoforming can greatly increase packaging production speed. Thermoformed plastics can be customized for size, color, clarity, and shape to fit products perfectly, creating a consistent appearance. One of the most commonly used thermoformed plastics is PET, known for a high-strength barrier resistant to outside tampering and an ease of molding into designated designs and shapes.

 

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