Breville Commercial Blog

Preserving perfection: Benefits of vacuum sealing food
Posted 2024-06-18T17:27:00.000-07:00 by PolyScience Staff

Amidst boiling pots, sizzling pans, and the clamor of plating hot meals, it can be easy to miss a kitchen’s number one enemy: Food spoilage. 


With multiple ingredients opened, stored, and reused before serving, even the most disciplined chef is no stranger to stale ingredients and food waste—a problem compounded by escalating food costs.


The solution? Implementing high-quality vacuum sealing techniques designed to lock in optimal flavor, nutrients, and texture. Read on to learn the advantages of vacuum sealing food, revolutionizing quality control, and boosting profit margins in commercial kitchens.

Top benefits of vacuum sealing food in commercial kitchens

Commercial kitchens primarily utilize two types of food vacuum sealers: chamber models and external suction units. Each offers distinct benefits:

● Chamber vacuum sealers are the go-to choice for commercial settings, offering more consistent sealed packaging, automated detection for hands-free operation, the ability to seal liquid-rich items like soups, and a higher throughput capacity.

● External vacuum sealers are ideal for smaller operations or when preserving smaller batches at a time. The smaller, less durable motor means it lacks the versatility, speed, and output of chamber machines, offering an affordable introduction via manual appliance operation. Note that these models require a particular “waffle weave” or corrugated sealer bag that is often more costly than standard chamber bags. 


Chamber machines are further separated by pump type:

● Oil (“wet”) pumps – These pumps will bump up the price of a chamber machine, but it pays off in terms of longevity. During the vacuum cycle, water evaporates and condenses inside the pump. With oil pumps, you can flush this water vapor out by changing the pump’s oil, extending its life significantly. Regular maintenance is key. 

● Piston (“dry”) pumps – Chamber models with a piston pump typically have lower costs and lower upkeep involved. Unlike oil pumps, there’s no way to remove the water vapor buildup from the pump, so eventually, the pump will rust and need to be replaced. 


While there are key differences, the science—and benefits—of food vacuum sealing machines are the same. Commercial kitchens can preserve food quality much longer than traditional storage methods by placing items in a plastic bag, removing the air inside, and heat-sealing the bag shut.


Here are the top benefits of vacuum-sealing food:

● Dramatically extends shelf life – Without exposure to oxygen, aerobic bacteria, and mold growth slows significantly. Frozen foods that are in a properly vacuum-sealed bag can last weeks, months, and sometimes even years longer than their non-vacuum-sealed counterparts.  

● Prevents freezer burn – Freezer burn occurs when air reaches stored items and slowly dehydrates them, but vacuum seal bags prevent the air leakage responsible for this. Without oxygen contact, goods stored in the freezer retain freshness without the rapid ice crystallization that degrades taste and texture.

● Locks in nutrients and flavor – Oxidation doesn’t just accelerate spoilage—it also depletes vitamins, minerals, and essential aromatic oils. Since vacuum sealing blocks airflow contact, it better preserves tender textures, subtle flavor notes, and the nutritional value of ingredients.

● Improves inventory management – By implementing the process of vacuum sealing prepped ingredients, cooks can easily gauge what needs reordering based on portion sizes and weekly demand instead of complicated daily micro measurements prone to inaccuracies. 

● Provides safe, efficient storage – One key advantage of vacuum sealing food is its compressed nature, meaning it takes up less storage space. This is especially useful for bulk-order products, such as ground meats and cheese. Additionally, the fully sealed nature of the bags can help prevent any accidental cross-contamination during storage and retrieval.


These benefits of vacuum sealing food also compound over time. For instance, maintaining flavor, texture, and freshness for longer periods translates to reduced food waste. The ability to prep and preserve larger batches also streamlines product ordering, saving valuable man-hours spent inventorying and double-checking perishables. 


Armed with vacuum sealing tech, commercial kitchens can optimize for efficiency, keep ingredients fresh, and enable large-batch preservation—ultimately saving time, money, and stress.

Important safety considerations before vacuum sealing

Vacuum sealing is a powerful food preservation technique, but it’s also a delicate one. Before trying it at home or in a commercial kitchen, it’s important to familiarize yourself with vacuum sealing safety guidelines.


One major watch-out of vacuum sealing: the potential for anaerobic bacteria growth.


Eliminating oxygen exposure minimizes aerobic bacteria growth, but it doesn’t prevent anaerobic bacteria, like the bacteria that causes botulism, from forming. Fortunately, anaerobic bacteria won’t be a threat as long as you properly package and store vacuum-sealed items at the correct temperatures, and you use items before their “use by” date. 


In this vein, the FDA sets strict guidelines for cooling vacuum-sealed foods to ensure the utmost safety for restaurant diners:

● Any potentially hazardous foods must cool from 135°F to 70°F within 2 hours, then from 70°F to 41°F within 4 more hours.

● Sous vide products require further cooling to 34°F within 48 hours of reaching 41°F. These products can be stored for up to 30 days if held continuously at 34°F. 

● If products are frozen, there is no shelf-life restriction. 


Restaurants need to be particularly vigilant about following vacuum sealing rules, paying close attention to their local health departments, as they’re not required to adopt FDA guidelines. Some regions, including Florida, DC, and New York, enforce more stringent regulations than the FDA. Food business operators must remain vigilant and up-to-date with these rules to stay in good standing within their jurisdiction. 

Vacuum sealing techniques for optimal freshness

To truly enjoy the benefits of vacuum sealing, you need to do more than stock up on plastic zip-up bags. High-performance chamber vacuum machines dramatically outperform low-cost options, saving time and preventing spoilage from accidental reopenings by automating the sealing process.


Here are a few points to keep in mind to get the most use out of a commercial vacuum sealer.

Determine how and what to vacuum seal

Different foods require different sealing techniques. Delicate items, like lettuce or herbs, require a gentle vacuuming level to avoid crushing or damaging their tender structure, whereas items with rigid skin or membranes, like potatoes, can handle stronger suction.


Additionally, cruciferous veggies should be blanched before food vacuum sealing, as they naturally emit gasses that expand within the bag over time. Vegetables that fall under this category include:

● Broccoli

● Cauliflower

● Cabbage

● Kale

● Brussel sprouts

● Radishes


Moisture content is also a key consideration. Fresh meats and fruits may need special attention during sealing, whereas soups or other liquid-rich foods require a chamber vacuum sealer for proper preservation.


Finally, the food’s temperature at the time of sealing must be taken into account. 


Vacuum sealing lowers the overall pressure within the vacuum chamber, which in turn lowers the boiling point of liquids, including the water in protein cells. This makes it easy for liquids to boil over during vacuum sealing, which prevents a proper seal. In proteins, boiling is invisible, but it causes tangible issues like dryness and an undesirable, cotton-like texture. 


To easily avoid boiling, only vacuum seal products that are at or below 41°F.

Streamline workflow integration

While good techniques and equipment are the foundation, proper application ultimately boils down to the procedures implemented by the cooking team. A well-planned integration ensures this new technology will boost efficiency and maximize the benefits of food vacuum sealing.


To that end, consider how vacuum-sealed food can best be incorporated into your kitchen’s existing workflows. 


This may involve designating vacuum bag sealing stations near pantries and prep areas to minimize steps or clearly labeling newly sealed items with contents and date ranges so that cooks can assess shelf life at a glance.


A compliant label should include:

● Item name

● Date of packaging

● Correct storage temperature required

● “Use by” date

● Name of who cooked the item (sous vide)

● Date when item was cooked, then cooled

● New storage temperature

● New “use by” date

● Date thawing begins

Explore enhanced cooking applications

Vacuum-sealed foods have excellent synergy with certain cooking methods, such as boiling or sous vide. Try exploring recipes and techniques to capitalize on this benefit. 

● Seal a wide variety of foods in vacuum bags for convenient sous vide precision cooking—anything from seasoned proteins, to hearty vegetables, to compound butter batches. Restaurant sous vide techniques help food cook evenly, preserve moisture and texture, and enhance natural flavors.

● Infuse marinades and aromatics into meat and veggies in a fraction of the time, or compress vegetables in acidic brines and seal for near-instant pickled products.

● Prep larger batches of soup bases, stocks, and braising liquids. Divide into portion sizes, then vacuum seal to serve as building blocks for future meals.


With these considerations in mind, chamber vacuum sealers with designated presets (including innovative ones, such as “infuse” and “marinate”) and a minimal footprint serve as the ideal appliance for professional kitchens.

Consider alternative vacuum sealer uses

Depending on your choice of vacuum sealer, you open up a wide variety of potential uses beyond simple food storage.


Here are a few creative vacuum sealing techniques to try:

 Sealing dry ingredients in jars – Smaller, dry ingredients like spices, nuts, and seeds can be difficult to preserve. Rather than wasting the standard plastic bags, try vacuum sealing smaller ingredients in glass canning jars.

● Keeping wine fresh – For customers who order their wine by the glass, ensure the rest of the bottle retains maximum freshness by combining a bottle-stopper with a vacuum sealer to minimize lost flavor from oxidation. 

● Preserving grains – Pastas, rice, and flour can also benefit from vacuum sealing. Preserve them in plastic bags, or ensure uncooked pasta doesn’t poke through by using glass canning jars.


While such creative applications depend on the attachments available to your vacuum sealer, most commercial-grade models support these uses.

How vacuum sealing preserves nutrients and flavor

Vacuum sealing technology can seem almost mystifying in its effectiveness at maintaining freshness over so many weeks and months compared to traditional storage methods. 


By understanding how vacuum sealing works on a deeper level, commercial kitchens are better positioned to utilize this technology to its maximum effect.


The advantage of vacuum sealing food is made clear through two common processes:

1. Oxidation – While oxidation encompasses multiple chemical mechanisms, the general concept is that oxygen tends to degrade other molecules when it comes into contact with them. Simply by being exposed to air, lipid oxidation spoils the fats in meat and enzymatic oxidation accelerates the loss of nutrients in fruits and vegetables.

2. Aerobic bacteria growth – Many bacteria require oxygen to multiply quickly, acting as a preferred food source when they attach themselves to leftover food. As food is removed from bacteria-killing heat sources, populations grow exponentially, contributing to spoiled and unsafe food.


A vacuum sealer works to counteract these processes simultaneously. 


By removing oxygen availability from the start, vacuum sealing effectively halts oxidation, preserving the integrity and nutritional value of food.


Since the oxygen is removed, this simultaneously defeats aerobic bacteria, robbing them of their preferred food source and slowing growth down to a diminutive crawl.

Preserve to ensure picture-perfect meals with Breville Commercial

In commercial kitchens worldwide, chefs strive for excellence across a rich variety of menu demands. Often, victory hinges on next-level equipment designed expressly for professional restaurant conditions.


That’s why leading chefs partner with Breville Commercial. With commercial chamber vacuum sealers engineered for maximum simplicity and versatility, Breville Commercial delivers industry-leading innovation in both the MX2 Infuser and 300 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer.


Designed with 24 different single-tap presets, from marination to infusion and more, these vacuum sealers are built to help you craft stunning meals, streamline workflows, and reduce waste—all with an intuitive interface fine-tuned for 5-star quality success.


Preserve foods longer and take your flavors to new heights with Breville Commercial.



1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Can Clostridium botulinum be in vacuum-packaged foods?

2. Webstaurants. How to Use a Vacuum Sealer.

3. CNET. 6 reasons to get a vacuum sealer (that aren't just food storage).

4. Patek. The Benefits Of Vacuum Sealing Your Food.