Posts Tagged ‘Vacuum Food Sealers’

How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Meat Last in the Freezer?

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Vacuum Food Sealers Have you ever pulled food out of the freezer, thawed it out and tried to eat it only to bit into it and taste utter disappointment? That bland, moldy and almost synthetic like taste is what’s commonly referred to as freezer burn. That is what happens when you try packaging food using a ziplock bag. If you really want to preserve your food, along with the taste, you should be using a vacuum sealer (found here). So how long does meat last once it has been vacuum packed and tossed in a freezer? This is a good question and one that I will answer in this article.

Freezers really are amazing food preservation tools. Imagine, just a few hundred years ago people had to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with snow (if available) just to provide a slightly cooler place to keep their food. Salting and smoking food wasn’t much better. The biggest downside to freezers is that they have a tendency to drain the flavor out of food. Over time, food begins to draw in flavors of other products in the freezer along with the bland taste of the freezer itself.

The best way to protect food against freezer burn is to vacuum seal it. The vacuum seal barrier literally locks out air and prevents other flavors and moisture from breaching the barrier. Most of our Minipack vacuum sealers will remove 99.9% of the air from the bag, allowing the frozen food to taste just as fresh thawed as it was when it was initially packaged. Some people even create entire meals and vacuum seal them for later cooking such as Sous Vide.

So how long can a freezer keep meat fresh and unspoiled? It really depends on the cut and type of meat. Keep in mind that uncooked meat typically lasts much longer than cooked. Here is a list of some types of meat and their general lifespan in a well-maintained freezer. I am including the time for vacuum sealed and non vacuum sealed.

Cooked Meat Times

  • Poultry – Up to 4 Months
  • Beef – Up to 3 Months
  • Hot Dogs – Up to 2 Months
  • Stew – Up to 3 months
  • Lunch Meat – Up to 2 months

Uncooked Meat Times

  • Bacon – Up to 1 month.
  • Sausage – Up to 2 months
  • Hamburger – Up to 4 months
  • Steaks – Up to 12 months
  • Chops – Up to 6 months.
  • Roasts – Up to 12 months.
  • Poultry – Up to 1 year.

Uncooked & Vacuum Sealed

  • Beef – Up to 3 years
  • Pork – Up to 3 years
  • Poultry – Up to 3 years
  • Lamb – Up to 3 years
  • Fish – Up to 2 years
  • Hamburger – Up to 1 year
  • Ground Meat – Up to 1 year

Do you notice how much longer meat lasts in the freezer when it is vacuum sealed? This is because there is no contact with oxygen or air, resulting in a much longer lifespan. Vacuum sealed food can last up to 3-5 times longer than non vacuum sealed food. The taste of the food, for obvious reasons, is also much better after a long period of time.

Be sure to write a date on the outside of the vacuum-sealed meat to provide you, or whoever will be cooking the food, an idea as to how old it is.

The government’s FoodSafety site (found here) has a great list of products and their refrigerator and freezer storage times.

Our most popular model for home use is the…

Sinbo 11″ 4mm Single Line Seal Retractable Nozzle Vacuum Sealer


$115

Click Here for more information.


There is also a model designed for liquids

For Larger tasks such as game processing, or commercial use, the most popular and highly rated vacuum sealer is the…

Minipack MVS 45 X Chamber Vacuum Sealer

$2914

*Ships Via Truck

Click Here for more information.



Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for information on vacuum sealing machine. We have been selling external and chamber vacuum sealers for over a decade and can provide you with detailed and useful information on selecting an appropriate machine. You can find our entire lineup of vacuum sealers here, external sealer bags here and chamber vacuum sealer bags here.

Best Machines For Vacuum Packing Fish

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Vacuum Packing FishI have been working with and dealing with vacuum food sealers (found here) for over a decade now. I have used machines ranging from basic tabletop external sealers all the way up to industrial-grade chamber vacuum sealers. One question I commonly get is, “Which machine is best for packing fish?” Having sold several machines over the years, and receiving feedback from customers, I have a few personal favorites I would like to share with you.

Packing fish using a vacuum sealer has many advantages. For one, it locks in the smell and preserves the fish several times longer than without using film. It also provides a professional appearance and makes sanitary transportation and retail sale easy. It allows customers to pick up and handle the fish without the fear of contamination. It also provides a barrier to prevent freezer damage for cold storage purposes. The list of reasons why you may want to vacuum pack your fish is long.

I have used several brands over the years and I have to say that Minipack is by far my favorite vacuum sealer brand for packaging fish, meat, fruit, veggies and other food products. They aren’t always the cheapest, but when you take into consideration that their machines will outlast most other models by years, it is well worth the investment. Minipack machines are Italian made.

Vacuum Packing Fish w/ MinipackWhile their chamber sealers are excellent for packaging food on a large scale, their external machines are really good for packaging fish. They can be used for packing an entire fish, or fish fillets. My favorite all-around machine for packing fish is their line of Minipack Cyclone vacuum sealers (found here). These sealers come in 13″, 17″ and 21″ wide models. The Cyclone sealers use vacuum bags for packaging. The 4mm wide seal is extremely durable and holds up well.

Using the Minipack Cyclone for packing fish is as simple as a few steps:

  1. First take your vacuum bag and position it flat on a table or countertop.
  2. Take your fish (on or off a tray) and place it in the bag.
  3. Place the open end of the bag into the Cyclone’s sealing arm.
  4. Activate the machine and wait for it to remove the air and seal the bag shut. This usually only takes a few seconds.
  5. Remove the bag and if needed repeat the process.

The Cyclone sealers have 3 adjustable program settings and are made from non-corrosive aluminum construction. The digital controls are easy to use and it even comes equipped with a moisture collection basin. If you have more questions about vacuum packing fish using a Minipack Cyclone, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788.

Minipack Inert Gas Flush Kit for Vacuum Sealers

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Minipack Chamber Vacuum SealersIf you need to provide maximum shelf life for vacuum-sealed food, without removing all of the air, you need to use what’s known as an inert gas kit. Minipack, one of the leading manufactures of commercial and industrial vacuum food sealers (found here), offers inert gas flush kits for all their chamber machines. This article will cover what is involved in an inert gas kit and why you may want one for yourself.

Vacuum sealers, out of the box, can be used to remove air from a bag for preservation purposes. Minipack vacuum sealers can remove 99.9% of the air in a bag. For food preservation purposes, this gets the job done. The only problem is that not everyone wants to remove all of the air. Many fruits, vegetables, chips, bread products and other food will be damaged and crushed if all the air is removed. By using an inert gas flush kit, air can still be left in the bag and thus the food itself is not damaged.

Why swap out the air? One of the most damaging gasses you can have in packaged food is oxygen. This is because most food-damaging life forms and bacteria use oxygen. In practice, the removal of that oxygen will eliminate the very gas needed to sustain life. This is done by re-balancing the gasses.

Re-balancing of gasses is most economically done via an inert gas kit. The inert gas kit is used to flush out oxygen (O2). Oxygen makes up about 20.9% of the air we breath. The gas kit creates a modified atmosphere, which is process of moving the 20.9% oxygen content down to 0%. By removing the oxygen, and replacing it with another gas, food shelf life can be dramatically extended.

While the oxygen is removed, it has to be replaced by another gas. One of the most popular inert gasses used is nitrogen (N2). Another inert gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which helps cut down on bacterial growth while lowering the PH. Carbon monoxide has even been used as an inert gas as it helps red meet retain a bright red color. These gasses are all considered to be safe for use with food. The gas used will ultimately depend on the product being packaged.

As mentioned earlier, Minipack offers an inert gas flush kit for all their machines. That kit must be factory installed, so you will want to request it when purchasing a new machine. The price of the kit varies from one machine to another.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for more information on an inert gas flush kit for your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer. You can find our entire selection of Minipack vacuum sealers here. You are more than welcome to call us with your questions or you can simply post your question here as a comment.

Troubleshooting: MVS Vacuum Sealer Bar Sealing Issues

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Minipack MVS Vacuum SealersA poorly functioning vacuum food sealer can be an extremely frustrating experience. This can lead to lost time, lost production and unprofessional results. What can really be frustrating is when the sealing problem doesn’t always manifest itself or it is inconsistent. Thanks to excellent technical support from Minipack, we have come up with a solution for one of the most commonly seen vacuum sealing problems.

While Minipack vacuum sealers are some of the most reliable on the market, as with any mechanical device, some problems can arise. If the sealing bar on your MVS vacuum sealer is experiencing issues, you may be having problems with the bellows. The bellows are typically located underneath the sealing bin on a chamber vacuum sealer.

Poorly functioning bellows typically manifest themselves when the sealing bar begins to have issues. Many of these issues include:

  • Loss of continuity
  • Loss of bag vacuum
  • Inconsistent sloppy seal
  • Raises unevenly
  • Lacks contact with Red Lid Striker

Why are the bellows going bad? This is usually a result of moisture or liquid working its way into the bellows. While Minipack vacuum food sealers can be used with liquid, you are less likely to have issues if you use a liquid tray. Using a flat bin, without any upright bag support, can lead to spills. Contact us at 1-800-658-8788 for information on getting a liquid tray for your Minipack MVS vacuum sealer.

Minipack MVS Vacuum Sealer Bellows

While you can replace the bellows, Minipack recently released a rebuild kit that will save you a lot of money. The rebuild process is simple enough that most people can handle it on their own without the need of a Service Technician or a Service Department. We will be posting rebuilt kit instructions on our blog soon.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Minipack MVS31X and MVS35X Chamber Vacuum Sealer Troubleshooting Tips and Calibration

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Minipack MVS31X Chamber Vacuum SealerIf you own a Minipack vacuum sealer, you’re probably well aware of the excellent quality and renowned Italian design. Simply put, our Minipack products (including shrink wrap machines) have an excellent track record with our customers. We have found that most Minipack issues have simple solutions. One small issue that has come up is that the MVS31X and MVS35X won’t pull a full vacuum of 99.9%. Here are a few tips that may help you.

Minipack vacuum sealers can remove 99.9% of the air in a bag. This produces a remarkably tight seal that is excellent for food and product preservation. Few vacuum sealers are able to achieve this high a mark for air removal. Here is a tip that will help over 90% of you who are experiencing issues achieving the much-desired 99.9% mark.

To begin with, re-calibrating your MVS31X and MVS35X will solve the majority your issues. Here are some step-by-step instructions that should help:

MINIPAC MVS31X / MVS35X CALIBRATION INSTRUCTIONS

Minpack Calibration Vacuum Sealer Digital LED DisplayWhen you first receive your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer, it is recommended that you calibrate it. Differences in elevation and atmospheric pressure vary from one place to the next. Calibration will ensure optimal machine operation.

The calibration process will take about 3 minutes of your time. Calibration should be done the first time you operate the machine and after every oil change.

STEP 1 – Connect your chamber vacuum sealer to a power source, leaving the power switch in the OFF position.

STEP 2 – Simultaneously press the down (\/) and up (/\) buttons while switching the power “ON.” The down and up buttons are located under the digital LED display. If done correctly, the LED display will show CAL (calibration). Once you see CAL, release both arrow keys.

STEP 3
– Close the lid to the chamber sealer. The pump will automatically start running. The digital LED display will eventually show up to 3 numbers. These are your calibration numbers. Once these 3 numbers have stopped increasing for about 5 seconds, write down (or otherwise notate) the number on the display and press the (S) button located above the LED display. This will cause the pump to stop and the LED display will return to the last program being used.

STEP 4 – Turn off the power switch and repeat STEP 2.

STEP 5
– You will now close the lid, starting the pump. The LED display will begin displaying numbers that will eventually increase up to 3 total numbers. Once the 3 numbers displayed reach 1-2 numbers below the calibration number you wrote down in STEP 3, press the (S) key. This will stop the pump and again will return the LED display to the last program number being used.

Your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer should now be calibrated to its environment and should now be ready to use.

Is re-calibration not solving your issue? Please contact our Service Department. They are kind, professional and more than happy to help. Our Service Department is fully trained in repairing and servicing Minpack products. You can reach them by filling out this form.

You can find our entire selection of Minpack vacuum sealers here and Minipack shrink wrap machines here.

Top 5 Best Vacuum Food Sealers 2011

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Minipack Chamber Vacuum Food SealersIf you package food on a regular basis, cook food via sous vide, freeze food or sell food in a store, you probably need a solid vacuum food sealer. Finding the best vacuum sealer isn’t always easy. Having used many machines myself, I can vouch for the fact that quality varies as much with vacuum sealers as it does with cars. I have compiled a list of the best vacuum food sealers available for 2011.

To begin with, my list focuses primarily on chamber vacuum food sealers, which are ideal for commercial, industrial and long-lasting vacuum food packaging. This list is based on customer feedback, track records and overall reliability.

The vacuum food sealers listed bellow are commonly used to package fish, poultry, beef, pork, fruits and vegetables. Some of them can even package an entire chicken. Because these are chamber style sealers, they can also be used to package powders and liquids.

Top 5 Best Vacuum Food Sealers 2011

  1. Minipack MVS 31 X Chamber-Style Sealer
  2. Minipack MVS 45 X Food Packaging Sealer
  3. Minipack MVS 35 X Vacuum Food Sealer
  4. Minipack MVS 20 Chamber Food Sealer
  5. Minipack MVS 26 X Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Let me point out a few things you should keep an eye on when shopping for a vacuum food sealer:

Where is your vacuum sealer made? Our Minipack line, considered to be one of the most reliable brands around, is made in Italy.

Is the metal used in construction heavy gauge? Many “cheap” vacuum food sealers use flimsy sheet metal in construction that can lead to easy denting and even dangerous metal edge cuts. Minipack vacuum food sealers use tough heavy gauge stainless steel.

Is the basin seamless? When packaging food, you don’t want food getting trapped in creases, cracks and seams. This isn’t only gross, it’s also unhealthy. Our Minipack vacuum food sealers utilize a seamless design.

Hopefully these tips and suggestions help you with your vacuum food sealer shopping. Be aware that many of the models listed are on equal ground when it comes to quality, with the only difference being the size of the chamber. As with any domed chamber vacuum sealer, you often end up with an extra 2-4″ in height due to the curvature of the dome.

Please feel free to contact one of our food packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here and chamber vacuum sealing bags here. Our line of vacuum sealers includes industrial chamber sealers designed for high-volume food packaging.

Should You Use an External or Chamber Vacuum Sealer?

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Vacuum Food Sealing MachinesVacuum sealers are excellent machines for packaging, selling and preserving food. They can also be used to package retail merchandise, clothing, auto parts and much more. There are two primary types of vacuum food sealers. The first type is known as an external sealer (sometimes called a clamp or pouch vacuum sealers) and the other is known as a chamber vacuum sealer. So which style should you use?

External and chamber vacuum sealers both get the job done, albeit in slightly different ways. This is a brief breakdown on how the different systems work:

External Pouch / Clamp Vacuum Food SealerExternal “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers – These types of vacuum sealers tout the title “external” because the entire vacuum sealing process is conducted outside the machine. Products are placed in a bag, which is then placed into the external sealer. The sealer is then clamped down onto the bag, after which it begins to remove the air. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – These types of sealers can be used with most food and most retail merchandise. Once a product has been placed in a bag, the entire bag is placed in the chamber, ensuring the opening of the bag is placed on the sealing bar. The hood of the sealer is brought down, after which air is removed from the chamber. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed and atmosphere is brought back to normal.

Now that you have a general understanding as to the different technologies used, why would you want to use one over the other?

External “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers – External sealers are generally used for light to medium-volume packaging purposes and are generally less expensive than chamber sealers. These types of vacuum sealer are generally used for home and medium-volume grocery-store use, although the MiniPack Cyclone line of external sealers are used for commercial packaging. These sealers are typically slower than chamber sealers.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – Chamber vacuum sealers are generally used for medium to high-volume packaging, although they can be used for light volume if needed. Chamber sealers are very easy to use and are typically faster than external sealers. They can be used to package fruits, vegetables, meats, liquids, powders and non-edible retail products.

Chamber sealers are typically more efficient than external sealers, with the ability to remove 99.9% of the air from a bag. Chamber sealers often offer the option of being used with inert gas / air kits as well (not an option with external sealers). Inert gas kits are great for packaging delicate food like potato chips.

So basically it all boils down to application. External sealers are great for home use and for light to medium use where chamber sealers are great for commercial higher-volume use.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Minipack MVS 26X Vacuum Food Sealer Review

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Minipack MVS 26X Vacuum Food SealerIf you’re a restaurant, a grocery store or a food packaging plant, you probably have the need of a high-quality vacuum food sealer. While external sealers are nice for many packaging purposes, chamber sealers mean business. One high-quality chamber sealer you should consider using is the Minipack MVS 26X vacuum food sealer (found here). This is my review.

Chamber vacuum sealers, unlike external sealers, conduct the entire packaging process in a controlled chamber environment. Air is not only removed from the bag, but from the entire chamber. This process allows 99.9% of the air to be removed. It is a very efficient process that is ideal for commercial packaging.

The MVS 26X vacuum sealer is an affordable “first step” into chamber vacuum sealing. A few months ago the least expensive system we offered was the MVS 31 X. We have just added several new machines to our lineup and the MVS 26X is one of those machines. The sealable chamber area is 11″ x 16″ x 4″. Be aware that the lid of the MVS 26X is domed, allowing for a few more inches than the specified 4″ height.

Everything about the MVS 26X shows its quality. The stainless steel construction is designed to be used for packaging foods and liquids and the basin of the chamber is seamless.  The seamless basin is easy to clean and is extremely sanitary, eliminating areas for bacteria to get trapped and grow.  There are no sharp edges on this machine and the gauge of the steel is exceptionally thick.

The MVS 26X uses an extremely durable pump, which only takes a few seconds to achieve maximum vacuum pressure. The aluminum sealing bar produces an extremely tight seal that will not degrade or weaken with time. The Italian build and construction on this machine is exceptionally high.

Unlike many comparable chamber sealers that feature complicated analog controls, dials and gauges, the MVS 26X is completely digital. Calibration is completely automated. The control panel is extremely easy to navigate, allowing you to store up to 10 custom jobs.

The control panel allows you to quickly adjust the sealing time, the amount of air to be removed from the chamber and how quickly to return the atmosphere back to normal. A digital display lets you know exactly what’s going on during the entire process. An optional inert gas injection kit is perfect for packaging more delicate food and products.

Using this sealer is easy. Simply place your product in a bag, place the bag in the sealer, pull the hood down and let the machine do the rest. The Minipack MVS 26X is perfect for packaging food, liquids, powders, parts and other retail merchandise.

As previously mentioned, the build quality is excellent. Our Minipack vacuum food sealers are extremely popular right now and have a great track record. The MVS 26X should easily hold up to daily use and will easily last you for years.

You can find the Minipack MVS 26X vacuum food sealer here and our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Minipack MVS 20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer Review

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Minipack MVS 20 Chamber Vacuum Food SealerVacuum food sealers are great machines. They can be used to package poultry, beef, fish, vegetables, fruit and much more. Many people use vacuum sealers to package merchandise for retail sale. One types of the best vacuum sealers available is the chamber vacuum sealer. One affordable model you may want to look at is the Minipack MVS 20 chamber vacuum sealer (found here). This is my review.

The Minipack MVS line of chamber vacuum sealers is hugely popular with our customers and has a great track record. Unlike many chamber sealers out there that almost appear to be assembled in a garage with sheet metal, the MVS sealers feature a high-quality build. They are all Italian made.

The MVS 20 is Minipack’s smallest and most affordable chamber sealer. It has a chamber area of 8.5″ x 12″ x 3.75″. This is large enough to package many food products for retail sale. It can also be used to package non-food products, liquids and powders.

The build quality on the MVS 20 is exceptional. It features a durable motor and pump, a solid chamber hood and a high-quality stainless steel exterior made from heavy-gauge metal. It is designed to be used every day.

Using the MVS 20 is easy. Take your product, place it in a vacuum sealing bag, insert that back into the MVS 20, place the open end of the bag under the sealing bar and close the hood. A latch, located on the front of the machine, must then be placed over the hood, keeping it in place. Once everything is in place, the machine can be turned on. Air is then removed from the chamber, the bag is sealed and air is returned back to the chamber.

The entire process takes very little time and the end results are extremely professional. The seal created by the MVS 20 holds up well with time and will not allow air to return back into the bag. Food sealed by the MVS 20 can be preserved 3-4 times longer than non-vacuum packaged food.

The control panel, located on the front of the MVS 20 is extremely easy to use. It lets you know, by means of a digital display, exactly what is going on during the vacuum sealing process. This same control panel allows you to select the sealing duration and the amount of air to be removed from the chamber.

You will find the MVS 20 in meat packing plants, grocery stores, merchandise factories and much more. For the price, you get a lot of machine. I would personally recommend this vacuum sealer for most entry to mid-volume vacuum packing projects.

You can find the Minipack MVS 20 chamber vacuum sealer here and our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Best Fish Vacuum Sealers (External & Chamber)

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Fish Vacuum Food SealersWhether you are an avid fisherman or are trying to package fish for retail sale, you can benefit from using a vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealers can dramatically extend the shelf life of fish by as much as 3 times or more and helps to prevent and cut down on freezer burn. There are a lot of machines out there, so which fish vacuum sealer should you buy? Here are a few tips that may help you out.

To begin with, you need to determine how much fish you will be packaging per day. If you are only packaging a few to a few dozen, an external sealer is probably all you need. If you are packaging a few dozen to a few hundred a day, you will probably need what’s known as a chamber vacuum sealer.

We have found that Minipack (made in Italy) produces some of the most reliable, effect and durable vacuum sealers. They make a wide range of vacuum sealers. Their sealers can be used to remove 99.9% of the air from a vacuum-sealing bag and they produce a durable seal that holds up well.

Here are some of the models I would personally recommend to our customers:

Best External Fish Vacuum Sealers

  1. Minipack Cyclone 30 Vacuum Sealer – This sealer is extremely reliable, has a good track record and can easily package fish. It has a 13″ maximum sealing width.
  2. Minipack Cyclone 40 Vacuum Sealer – This sealer is great for the packaging and sealing of fish. It has a 17″ maximum sealing width.
  3. Minipack Cyclone 50 Vacuum Sealer – This sealer, much like the smaller Cyclone 30 and Cyclone 40, is perfect for packaging fish, meat, fruits and more. It has a 21″ sealing width.

Best Chamber Fish Vacuum Sealers

  1. Minipack MVS 20 X Chamber Sealer – This sealer is a entry-level chamber sealer, but still features high-quality components and a great build. It isn’t as large as the MVS 31 X, but can still be used to package cut up fish.
  2. Minipack MVS 26 X Chamber Sealer – This vacuum sealer features a nice 11″ x 16″ x 4″ chamber sealing area and is extremely easy to set up and use.
  3. Minipack MVS 31 X Chamber Sealer – This chamber sealer is perfect for packaging fish. It has a 12.5″ x 9.5″ x 3.75″ chamber dimension that can easily handle a lot of fish.
  4. Minipack MVS 35 X Chamber Sealer – This vacuum food sealer has both a great chamber width and height (13″ x 11.75″ x 7.5″). This can be used to package multiple pieces of fish in a bag.
  5. Minipack MVS 45 X Chamber Sealer – This vacuum sealer is perfect for commercial packaging of fish and has a nice chamber area of 18.5″ x 16″ x 4.5″.

Each of these vacuum food sealers can be used to efficiently package fish and have been proven to have a great track record. I would personally recommend these sealers for anyone interested in packaging and preserving fish for either personal or retail use.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.  Feel free to ask our vacuum sealer specialists questions by calling 1-800-658-8788.

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