Where can vacuum pumps be used in packaging processes?
1. Vacuum Packaging machines – Packaging of fresh food to retain freshness
2. MAP Packaging – Packaging of food in a modified atmosphere
3. Forming – e. g. trays directly in the packaging machine
4. Blister Packaging – Thermoforming of blisters
5. Foil Handling – In tubular bag packaging machines
6. Labelling – Rapid and reliable labelling for all kinds of packaging
7. Carton Erection – Folding and erection of cartons
8. Stacking and Palletising – Of any external packaging
9. Central Vacuum Systems – Centralised vacuum supply for entire packaging departments
Vacuum frequently plays an essential role in packaging processes, and in the production of packaging. Packaging can be efficiently and precisely formed, thermoformed and coated using vacuum techniques. It can also be moved, transported, opened and sealed by vacuum. During the packaging process, goods to be packaged can be fed and inserted with the aid of vacuum.
Using vacuum pumps(rotary vane vacuum pumps) in food packaging helps to keep food fresh for longer – with no loss in quality. The use of MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) for fresh food products maintains the appearance, freshness and flavour.
Food Vacuum Packaging Technology
Vacuum packaging technology is widely applied into food package. The principle is to keep the package in vacuum by pumping air. It prevents in this case not only food oxidation but also microbial growth and reproduction because oxygen is drew off. Food gets darker and darker because some food colourings are not quite steady, and Vitamin A and C is damaged once food is put into air for a long time. Besides food become stale and rancid with unsaturated fatty acid getting oxidated. It appears very outstanding especially for the fats and oils because such food is abundant with unsaturated fatty acid. Therefore vacuum packaging could prevent food from getting stale and spoiling, maintain food colour, falvour and texture, and keep nutritional.
At the moment the food packaged with vacuum technology basically contain below products: sausage, ham, bacon, duck, etc.; Pickles: mustard, radish, rutabaga, pickles etc.; Soy products: tofu, vegetarian chicken, hummus, etc.; Food products: chicken, duck, beef sauce, etc.; Convenience foods: rice, instant wet surface, ready meal, etc.,Retort: water bamboo shoots, fruit syrup, rice pudding, etc,.
Vacuum packaging technology is developed at the base of vacuum pump technology. Vacuum pump working principle is to suck air from a vessel and to discharge then. The package where a vacuum forms after being pumped could be filled as well with some gases which is discharged by another pump according to this principle. There could be a higher pressure inside when the package is filled up with some gas, which could prevent the air outside to getting in and make package more resistant. In this condition food is not deformed or crushed and packages will be kept the same as producers expect. Different demands will be matched if gas is chosen correctly. Nitrogen, an inactive gas, could fill up packages to get a higher pressure in order to protect food. Nitrogen dioxide could be melt easily into the fats or water, and the light carbonic acid brought up by this melting restrains some mircobials like mould and putrefactive bacteria. Oxygen could prevent anaerobe from growing and reproducing so that fruits and vegetables maintain fresh and colorful.
The food packed with filling vacuum packaging technology include: tea, nuts, melon seeds, floss, etc; fried potato chips, puffed food, fruit and vegetables crisps etc; cake, moon cake and so on; all kinds of powder, food additives; various souvenirs, expensive medicines; dehydrated vegetables .
As small packages and supermarkets develop, vacuum packaging and filling vacuum packaging will be used more and more.