How Does Vacuum Sealing and Canning Differ?

howtovacuumSometimes we need to preserve food to consume it for longer periods of time. For example, when a fresh harvest from your kitchen garden is too much for you to consume in one season or you may like the fresh vegetables and fruits to stay longer. Basically food preservation is a process of storing food in way to prolong its shelf-life. For this purpose, different food treatment techniques are applied to slow down the spoilage process and maintain the quality, texture, color and smell of food. Such food handling processes normally involve prevention of growth of bacteria and fungi on food.

Types of Food Preservation Methods

There are so many methods of food preservation used by home users and food manufacturing companies to store food. These methods are amazingly best at keeping food fresh and eatable for a long period of time. Two most popular food preservation methods are canning and vacuum sealing. Though many people confuse canning and vacuum sealing as similar methods but both methods are entirely unique and different in use and processing.

Both canning and vacuum sealing involves sealing of food in food containers; however canning involves sealing food by heat sterilization to kill microorganisms first. Since, microbes are killed in canning procedures so there is no need to store canned food in refrigerator. While, vacuum sealing is different from canning in the sense that it doesn’t sterilize food, instead it removes air from the food container to prolong the shelf life. However, in vacuum sealed food the microorganisms remain active and the food can get spoiled overtime, hence needs to be refrigerated.


The generally followed procedure for canning is heating food at a specific temperature to get rid of the contaminating bacteria and then sealing it in airtight jars, pouches and cans. Normally high pressure and high heating temperatures are provided to food to complete the sterilization process effectively. This is mostly done for seafood, poultry, meat, dairy products and vegetables, however, for foods having highly acidic pH like pickled fruits and vegetables, canning is done in a boiling water bath without putting any high pressure on food.

Vacuum Sealing

pic_vacuum_sealing_machine_samples_lgCanning is a traditional and very old procedure for storing food. Vacuum sealing on the other hand is comparatively new and very easy food preservation method for home users. Food manufacturing industries and processing units were using it for many years but now it is being more popular among home users. For vacuum sealing, you just need a vacuum sealing machine and few sealing bags and pouches. Once food is vacuum sealed, the effects of aerobic bacteria are eliminated due to removal of oxygen. However, the food can still get spoiled by the activities of anaerobic bacteria. So in order to keep the food fresh for a long time you must store it in a cool place like refrigerator. Actually vacuum sealing is all about slowing down the process of spoilage of food and keeping the food quality high and fresh for longer time. There are different vacuum sealing brands which offer variety of perks for home users as well as for food manufacturing industries. For choosing the best vacuum sealer, you can rely on reviews and advice from an industry expert.

Comparison between Pros and Cons of Canning and Vacuum Sealing

Each food preservation method has its own pros and cons. Canning and vacuuming sealing methods not only differ in the basic procedures of food preservation but also in terms of pros and cons. Here is a simple comparison between their pros and cons to help you choose the best preservation method for food items.

  • Canning is very economical as compared to vacuum sealing, since the materials used to carry on this method are ultimately very simple and reusable. However, vacuum sealing needs disposable and expensive materials.
  • Canned tins and jars don’t take lots of space inside fridge or freezer, while vacuum sealed plastic bags and canisters surely take lots of space inside refrigerator.
  • Canned food products do not need you to store them in a refrigerator while vacuum sealed food products always need refrigeration.
  • Canning and its storing procedures are quite simple and easy as compared to vacuum sealing.
  • Vacuum sealing is an amazing food preservation method to quickly store your cooked food for later use as compared to canning.
  • Vacuum sealing is very much effective in keeping meat products fresh for longer periods of time. While canning provides not very long shelf life to meat products and often the smell and taste changes overtime, so it is generally not recommended for storing meat.
  • Vacuum sealing works wonderfully with small batches while canning works efficiently only with large batches.
  • Vacuum sealing is a perfect food preservation method for food processing units as well as home users. Canning also offers good help for both users but not as efficiently as vacuum sealing does.


The above-mentioned pros and cons and general ideas about canning and vacuum sealing can surely help you choose the one that is most suitable for your kitchen. In modern age, it is easier to store food and harvests from your kitchen garden. You no longer have to worry about the wastage of food, for you have got many choices. We hope our expert insights and ideas might help you in making a decision. Also, you can get more information about canning and vacuum sealing at our website, just make sure you evaluate the pros and cons thoroughly and make a smart choice!

Read more: Foodsaver v4880

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