Using AIE Bag Sealers for Food Storage Purposes

AIE-305A1 Bag SealerI had an opportunity over the weekend to package food in #10 cans and foil bag pouches for food storage purposes. I packaged black beans, potato flakes, spaghetti, oats and more. It actually ended up being really fun. What really surprised me is that the facility I was at was using an AIE-305A1 bag sealer (found here), which we just happen to sell here at ABCOffice.com. It was fun to see a piece of equipment, which we offer, being used in the wild

So what is a bag sealer (aka heat sealer)? Have you ever purchased a bag of beef jerky, a bag of candies, opened a hard drive from an anti-static bag or torn open a Mylar bag that was full of dried fruit? These are all items that were sealed using a bag sealer. These sealers use heat to seal the open end of plastic bags for packaging and preservation purposes. These bags range in thickness, size and material composition. The bag you use will depend entirely on what you are packaging.

Mylar Barrier Bags for Heat SealersThe foil pouch bags (aka Mylar barrier bags) that I was using were made of multiplayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The bags were 7 mils thick (1 mil = .001″) and are designed to protect food from moisture, rodents, insects and other environmental factors that can decrease the life of food. The pouches I was using were designed to hold up to a gallon of food. This was large enough to hold 7 pounds of wheat, 5 pounds of dry milk or 6.8 pounds of white rice. These bags were lined with food grade plastic. The aluminum barrier helps to prevent moisture and oxygen.

If you want to package food for long term storage (sometimes up to 30 years at a time), the food will need to meat few criteria:

  • The food has to be dry (10% moisture or less)
  • Low in oil content
  • Shelf-stable

Using the AIE-305A1 bag sealer (found here) was extremely easy. These are the steps I took to package my food:

AIE-305A1 Settings: Set the recycle dial to 2, the Congealing dial to 6, the Sealing dial to 4 and the Action Selector switch to manual. I recommend setting the heat sealer 5 inches above the table or desk surface. This can be done by setting it on a block of wood, books or something else that can support and elevate the machine. This makes operation easier.

  1. Fill the pouch with the food product. Don’t overfill the back as this can result in a poor seal. If you are packaging powder, be sure the area that will be sealed is clean.
  2. Place an oxygen absorber on the top of the food inside the pouch.
  3. Turn on the AIE heat sealer.
  4. Place the open end of the pouch into the machine. Let the bag rest on the table or shelf.
  5. Pull the sides of the pouch outward to ensure everything is flat.
  6. Fold the top of the pouch over (at about 1 ½” from the top) at a right angle.
  7. Now press the bag and expel remaining air from inside.
  8. Open the folded top bag open for sealing.
  9. Hold the bag by the sides and insert the open end of the pouch into the heat sealers jaw.
  10. Remove any wrinkles.
  11. Activate the AIE heat sealers jaw by pressing the foot pedal.

There you go! It is recommended to test the seal for any leaks. If any air can be forced out or if the seam can be pulled apart, you may need to re-seal the bag. You may also need to adjust the sealing dial from 4 to 4.25. If the seams seem to be burned, decrease the sealing dial from 4 to 3.75. Also remember to not overfill the pouches as this will result in a poor seal as well.

Where should sealed pouches be stored? I recommend putting sealed pouches of food in a cool and dry location. This should preferably be in a rodent-free area as rodents can chew through the aluminum / plastic material. If you have a rodent issue, you can place the sealed bags of food in a metal trashcan or other rodent-proof container.

While the 14″ wide AIE-305A1 (5mm seal) was the machine of choice where I was packaging food, you can use other heat sealers to complete the process.

American International Electric (AIE) makes some of the best heat sealers, bag sealers and shrink wrap machines available. Their machines have an industrial look to them and are made from solid metal components and long-lasting electronics. You can find our entire selection of AIE heat sealers here and our entire selection of bag heat sealers here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions regarding heat sealers. You can also leave your questions here as a comment.

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