While I was shopping for certain food products from the supermarket for a picnic that I had planned with friends, I couldn’t help but notice the prolonged expiry date each product had. It is my habit to read the expiry date before I buy any food product, whether canned or packeted. The prolonged expiry dates compelled me to ponder how easily food products used to perish earlier as compared to now.
The striking difference between the shelf life of same food products used to have a few years back and what they have now urged me to do a little research on the factor that brought this drastic change. The obvious answer I got was ‘technology’. As it has changed various aspects of our life, for the better, of course, it has helped to increase the shelf life of food products as well. This is why certain food products can last for years now without perishing.
Dwelling more on the technology used, I found out that vacuum packaging is the main technology that is used to increase the shelf life of food products. They came into the existence in the 1940s; however, they were too small to be used for large items that too on a larger scale. Karl Busch, a German inventor, invented home vacuum sealers. He was also the man behind the introduction of industrial sealers that were introduced in the market in 1963.
These sealers have been evolved over the years. The present ones are digitally operated and come with the facility of gas filling. Moreover, there are multiple variants of modern-day sealers available including double vacuum chamber machines, tabletop vacuum sealer, thermoforming vacuum packaging machines, and automatic belt vacuum chamber machines etc.
Vacuum sealers can be used to increase the shelf life of numerous food products including meat, vegetables, fruits etc. Their use has specifically helped businesses that operate within the meat industry as they the perishability of the meat was the major concern for them. As the use of modern-day vacuum sealers has helped to conserve the meat for a longer period of time, they are now in greater control of not only the production quality but quantity as well.
Meat products are more prone to get impacted by various contaminations caused by micro-organisms i.e. bacteria, yeast, and molds. These sealers have helped to get this issue. They also protect meat products from various other contaminants including dirt, parasites, chemicals (toxic substances) etc. This technology has helped business operating within the meat industry to retain the real color, taste, smell, and moisture of the meat. These factors are essential for retaining the quality of the meat.
Vacuum sealers even though begin to be used in advanced countries but now they have made their way to third-world countries as well albeit at a limited scale. They are gradually becoming more popular now not only in industrial but home use as well.
Simply put, the meat products we buy, and the vegetables and fruits being sold at marts, they can last for a longer period of time; all thanks to advancement in technology.