Accessory Hose
A thin tube that is attached to the Accessory port of a sealer to enable the vacuum sealing of various jars, canisters, marinating attachments etc. Greatly increases the versatility of a sealer.
Accessory Port
A small opening on the outside of a sealer designed to be fitted with an accessory hose.
Adjustable Vacuum
On some vacuum sealers the pressure of the vacuum created can be altered. One advantage of this is that when vacuum sealing delicate items you can turn the vacuum down to a low pressure to prevent the bagged items being crushed.
Aerobic
In the presence of Oxygen
Anaerobic
Without the presence of Oxygen
Anaerobic bacteria
Bacteria that can grow in an environment that has little or no air such as in a vacuum sealed bag or container. Many anaerobic bacteria cannot grow in the presence of oxygen. Examples of anaerobic bacteria causing food poisoning are Clostridium Botulinum (Botulism) and Listeria Monocytogenes.
Automatic Vacuum Sealer
Type of sealer where the open bag end is placed in the machine which then senses the bag and then seals it automatically. Most automatic sealers tend to waste more of the bag material due to the sensing mechanism requiring excess bag material to trigger the mechanism.
Bag Cutter Attachment
Built into some sealers so that Roll material can be cut square more easily and with less fuss than with scissors. Also used so that bags can be opened easily. A great help especially when doing bulk sealing.
Bag Sizes
Many different manufacturers offer a range of bag sizes to use with their sealers. The limit on the bag size that you can use with a particular sealer is the width of the sealing strip or bar.
Ball® Mason Jars – See Mason Jar
Benardin® Mason Jars -See Mason Jar
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Plastic material used to make bags and food containers. There are concerns about the suitability of plastics containing BPA being used in applications where food might come in contact due to health concerns. FDA has
Botulinum (Botulism) – See Clostridium botulinum
BPA – See Bisphenol A
Canister Port – See Accessory Port
Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Type of vacuum sealer where the whole pouch containing the food to be sealed is placed inside the unit. This type of sealer is much better at sealing wet foods and liquids as the vacuum pressure outside the pouch is the same as the vacuum pressure inside the pouch. This means that liquids are not forced out of the pouch and can be sealed up without the problem of leakage.
Clostridium botulinum
Type of rare harmful bacteria thrives in low oxygen environments and can cause extremely serious illness.
Cutting Bar
Present on some models. Used to help with cutting the ends of rolls and sealed bags properly.
Desiccant
Substances such as silica gel are desiccants, they remove moisture from the environment around them. Small packs of desiccant are sometimes added to the vacuum bag when vacuum sealing clothes and other non-food items in a humid environment. This helps to prevent mold forming due to moisture trapped inside the bag.
Double-Piston Vacuum Pump
More efficient and powerful sort of vacuum pump used in some semi-commercial machines, notably chamber sealers.
Drip Tray
Removable tray underneath the sealing channel on External Clamp type sealers and in the bottom of Chamber Sealers designed to catch liquids from bags and pouches getting in the electrics of the sealer and causing damage.
Dry Rocker Piston Pump
Type of pump used in some ARY VacMaster® models and others
Embossed Bag
This type of bag is commonly used with External Clamp Vacuum Sealers. The embossing that is on one side permits the sealer to suck the air out of the bag. The pattern helps to stop air getting trapped in and around the food by keeping airflow even while vacuuming.
External Clamp Vacuum Sealer
So-called because the bag to be sealed is outside of the machine and the vacuum is created only inside the bag which is clamped at the opening. This is the most common type of sealer. Usually needs to use special embossed bags.
External Suction Vacuum Sealer – See External Clamp Vacuum Sealer
Fan-Cooled Motor
Motor that has a fan incorporated into the design for cooling. This type of motor can run for longer without overheating. Means that you can get more sealing done faster without the unit cutting out.
Filler Plate
Plastic sheets designed to take up spare space inside Chamber Sealers when sealing up smaller items. With a Filler plate the chamber does not take so long to vacuum out saving time and electricity.
Freezer Burn
Occurs when foods are stored in a freezer for long periods of time without being in an airtight container. The food dries out and then oxidises causing changes in appearance, texture and flavour. These changes can make food unpalatable. One way to reduce or eliminate freezer burn is to store food in vacuum sealed bags and pouches.
Gage
A measure of thickness of material eg the thickness of a vacuum bag or pouch.
Heating Element
Heats up the bag material so that a join can be made by melting both of the bag surfaces before bringing them together to make an effective airtight seal.
Hg Vacuum
A measure of the pressure of the vacuum that can be achieved with the machine in question using millimetres of mercury (Hg). The larger the number, the higher the vacuum pressure that can be achieved by the sealer in question.
Hose – See Accessory Hose
Immersion Circulator
Used in a heating tank when preparing Sous-Vide foods to ensure that the temperature of water in the tank is the same in all areas so that foods cook evenly.
Jar Sealer
A Vacuum Sealer accessory that fits over Mason type jars and is used in conjunction with an accessory hose to create a vacuum seal
Kerr® Mason Jars – See Mason Jar
Manual Vacuum Sealer
Usually an External Clamp type sealer where the bag is positioned inside the vacuum slot opening and then a button is pressed to start the vacuum and another button has to be pressed to start the sealing of the bag after the desired level of vacuum is reached. This can give you more control when vacuum sealing delicate foods such as chips and cakes so they don’t get crushed. A further benefit is that less bag material is wasted as the machine does not have to sense the bag before vacuuming.
Marinating
Where foods are soaked in a liquid to enhance the flavours.
Mason Jar
Type of molded glass jars that come in several different sizes that are used to preserve foods. Mason jars can be vacuum sealed using the hose attachment in conjunction with a jar sealer.
Mil
Sometimes used as a measure of bag thickness. One Mil equals one thousandth of an inch.
A measure used for the thickness of bag, pouch and roll material.
Multi-ply
Some bags are made from several thin layers of different plastics to give optimum strength and airtight performance, notably nylon and polyethylene. Both polyethylene and polypropylene bags are porous to oxygen so adding a nylon layer to the bag makes them airtight.
Mylar
DuPont trademark for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET).sheet. Mylar bags are less permeable to oxygen than other types of vacuum bags and are commonly used by preppers together with oxygen absorbers to prolong the storage life of some dried and dehydrated foods for between 5 and 15 years.
Nitrogen Purging
After the food bag or pouch has had the air sucked out an inert gas such as nitrogen can be added to the bag. This technique is used when packaging fresh foods.
Nozzle Vacuum Sealer
Commercial type of vacuum sealing machine where a nozzle is inserted into the bag and then the air is pumped out. Once no air is in the bag the nozzle retracts and the bag is sealed.
Nylon
Tough impermeable material used to line vacuum sealer bags
Out of Chamber Vacuum Sealer – See External Clamp Vacuum Sealer
Overheating
Overheating of the heating element in the sealing strip can cause a vacuum sealer to cut out. This is one of the reasons why you need to research the machine that you are going to buy more carefully if you will be doing lots of seals.
Oxygen Absorber
Added to vacuum bags to create a totally oxygen free environment for your food. Used by Preppers trying to achieve the longest possible storage times for grains and other dried foods. Can be used inside bags when storing clothes to kill off clothes moths as well.
Perishable Foods
Foods that spoil
Polyethylene
Plastic material used in bags
Polypropylene
Plastic material used in bags
Pouch
Pouches are more commonly used with Chamber Sealers. Several manufacturers supply lots of different sizes of pouches. The only limit to the size of pouch that can be used is the size of the Chamber Sealer vacuum housing. Pouches are much less expensive than bags and roll material.
Pouch Sizes
Pouches for using in Chamber Sealers are available in many different sizes and are much more economical in price than the embossed or waffle patterned bags used by External Clamp Sealers.
Pressure Indicator
The pressure of the vacuum is shown electronically on a display or on a dial on some models. This can help you to know when to seal the bag if operating the sealer manually.
PTFE
Type of non-stick high temperature resistant plastic used as a coating or a tape covering for the heating element in some vacuum sealers.
Pulse Vacuuming
Gives you more control over the vacuum sealing of delicate and crushable items.
Reduced Oxygen Packaging
Or ROP, is a process by which any oxygen is removed from the food and then a gas such as Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide is added to the sealed package. This extends the shelf life and reduces premature spoiling. The storage life of refrigerated foods, frozen foods and dried foods can be extended by using this method.
Retractable Hose
Some types of accessory hose can be retracted after use and are stored inside the body of the machine.
Roll
Some manufacturers supply bag material on a roll so that you can make bags the exact size that you require. This often works out cheaper than buying costly custom sized bags.
Roll Cutter – See Cutting Bar
ROP – See Reduced Oxygen Packaging
Seal Length
This is the length of the heat sealing bar. Any bag used must be slightly smaller than the sealing bar to be able to be heat sealed properly
Seal Width – See Seal Length
Sealing Strip
Heat is supplied to the Sealing Strip to seal the bag
Sealing Time
On some machines the sealing time, the time that the heating element is on for and the clamp is operated can be adjusted. This can be helpful if you are using different thickness bags to achieve a better seal.
Smart Seal Technology
Proprietary technology used on some FoodSaver machines. The machine senses moisture in the food being sealed and adjusts the sealing time for the best results
Snorkel Vacuum Sealer – See Nozzle Vacuum Sealer
Sous Vide
A French word meaning “under vacuum”. Sous Vide cooking is where food, vacuum sealed in bags, is cooked in a water bath maintained at the correct temperature. It can take much longer than normal cooking times.
Suction Vacuum Sealer – See External Clamp Vacuum Sealer
Teflon Tape
Type of PTFE heat resistant non-stick tape used to protect the heating element
Vacuum Bottle Stoppers
An accessory that can be purchased that is used in conjunction with an accessory hose to temporarily stopper up wine bottles after opening.
Vacuum Channel
The opening where the pouch or bag end is placed so that air can be sucked out.
Vacuum Packaging
Method of packing food where the majority of the air is removed from the package extending the shelf life and protecting from freezer burn.
Vacuum Port
Place where an accessory hose can be attached.
Vacuum Pouch – See Pouch
Vacuum Pressure
The pressure of the vacuum produced by the vacuum pump.
Vacuum Sealer Tape – See PTFE Tape
Vacuum Zipper Bag
Type of vacuum bag that has a zip seal on one end so you can open them up time and time again. Useful for fridge stored items.
Waffle Pattern Bags – See Embossed Bag
Water Bath
Sous Vide cooking takes place inside a vacuum bag or pouch in a controlled temperature water bath. This method of cooking preserves the flavour, moisture and texture of the food better than if it is cooked by conventional means.
Zipper bags – See Vacuum Zipper Bag