The term “vacuum” might only ever come up in daily life when you’re talking about a vacuum cleaner, but vacuum technology is extremely useful for all sorts of purposes. One trade that uses the power of the vacuum a lot is the food industry. Vacuums remove certain materials from a given space, such as microbes from food. Here is how vacuum technology is used in the food industry to make our food better and safer to eat.
Vacuum Flash Cooling
Where a vacuum is present, there is an absence of heat, one of the worst enemies of keeping food fresh. Vacuum technology allows manufacturers to flash cool delicate food products such as milk to keep them as fresh as possible. This also removes any excess water that the manufacturer might not want in the product.
Through careful use of vacuum technology in the food industry, manufacturers can concentrate certain products into more condensed versions. By removing excess air, water, and any other materials via a vacuum, food products can become denser and take up less space. You’ve probably bought many food products that were concentrated to make them fit in their containers better.
It might surprise you how many food products have unpleasant odors at the beginning of the production process. Another useful application of vacuum is that it can remove some substances that cause these foul odors. For example, it can remove the fatty acids and other substances that make vegetable oils more pungent.
Just as with flash cooling, manufacturers also use vacuum technology to dry out certain food that would suffer negative effects from the use of heat. Using a vacuum creates an environment that sucks away moisture from the surface of a product. It’s a great alternative when something needs drying out but can’t handle a more rigorous drying process.
If you’ve ever indulged in a fizzy drink before, you’ve experienced the work of vacuum technology. Bottling factories use vacuums to remove as much air and other materials from bottles before filling them with concentrated liquids. It’s a crucial step that makes sure the bottles are clean and ready for the actual product.
Moving Fragile Materials
Some manufacturers create food that is very fragile or can break down easily. To move these products to different parts of assembly lines, manufacturers will use suction cups that employ a vacuum to move these products around gently. The vacuum creates enough pressure to hold on without damaging the product in the process.