2007 - Volume #31, Issue #4, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Vacuum Packer Preserves Bulk Foods
He made it to prepare for Y-2K, the computer scare in 2000 that turned out to be a non-event.
"My vacuum packer gives me a seven-year-plus shelf life for dry goods," the Wendell, N.C. man explains. "It does a fine job."
The unit is a 24 by 18-in. chamber made from pvc pipe with 1/2-in. thick walls. A flat piece of plastic is glued on the bottom with silicone sealer, and another serves as a removable top lid. Mizell says he had the edges of the chamber milled very finely and smoothly, so the top and bottom would seal really well.
To complete the system, he bought a commercial vacuum pump like those used for air conditioning units or refrigeration, paying about $400.
"I use glass sealed jars to contain the food and can vacuum seal as many as eight quart-sized jars in the chamber at one time," he explains. "I just place the rings and lids on the jars but don't tighten them up before turning on the unit. When the vacuum reaches its peak, I shut it off, releasing the pressure suddenly with a ball valve. This air movement pulls the rubber rings down, slamming them onto the jars and sealing them. Then I tighten the lids by hand."
He still has 50 to 60 cases of vacuum packed food from 1999, which he dips into from time to time. It's still well preserved.
"I still like to have emergency food there because you just never know," he concludes. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Danny Mizell, 6904 Greenhouse Drive, Wendell, N.C. 27591 (ph 919 365-8191; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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