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Congelación de alimentos envasados al vacío

La congelación por debajo de -18ºC es el método más utilizado (por los que afortunadamente disponemos de congeladores) para mantener los alimentos almacenados durante semanas o incluso meses.

Sin embargo existen tres inconvenientes que vamos a evitar utilizando una envasadora al vacío; Con ello vamos a conseguir mantener nuestra comida en óptimas condiciones y por más tiempo:

  • Olores que se pasan a otros alimentos
  • Escarchado de vegetales y productos frescos
  • Quemaduras en carnes y pescados

LOS OLORES EN EL CONGELADOR

A pesar de que envolvamos los alimentos en film plástico o incluso papel de aluminio, a menudo al coger algún paquete notamos un fuerte olor a pescado en él o a una mezcla de varias otras cosas.

Es normal, ya que las partículas responsables del olor son moléculas muy sencillas. Por ejemplo la «putrescina» es una amina de tan solo 4 Carbonos. Con este minúsculo tamaño, dichas partículas pueden moverse libremente por toda la cámara pudiendo entrar o salir por el mínimo espacio que encuentren entre los pliegues de cualquier envoltorio.

Esto significa que además de mezclarse los olores, si un alimento se pone malo, su olor se traspasará al resto de productos.

olor-congelados

Solo un sellado al vacío puede contener el olor de cada alimento impidiendo que se escape de su envase y se propague y mezcle con el resto de productos.

ESCARCHADO

Los productos frescos y vegetales sobre todo sufren daños a consecuencia de la formación de escarcha.

El proceso de escarchado sobre los alimentos es el siguiente: El agua del aire contenido en la cámara frigorífica migra hacia los alimentos, posándose sobre ellos y formando redes cristalinas de hielo. Estos cristales rompen las capas más externas de los alimentos, y se observa claramente en verduras cuando no son envasadas al vacío.

QUEMADURAS

Un producto «quemado» por el frío tiene similitudes con la quemadura por calor: se deshidrata, adquiere un tono marrón y su estructura queda dañada.

Los productos que más sufren las quemaduras son las carnes y los pescados. Ello es debido a que contienen un alto porcentaje de agua en su interior. Al congelar el alimento, estas moléculas de agua salen al exterior pasando directamente a estado vapor sin pasar por el estado líquido, y producen las quemaduras.

Al deshidratarse y quemarse la carne adquiere un tono marrón. Esto es debido a que del mismo modo que pierde el agua, pierde también la «mioglobina» (responsable de su color rojo), quedándose en el exterior de la carne y volviéndose marrón al oxidarse con el aire.

La solución a estos dos problemas relacionados con la aparición de cristales de hielo y la deshidratación y quemaduras en alimentos se soluciona completamente con un envasado al vacío de estos productos antes de introducirlos al congelador.

salmon envasado al vacio

Un alimento empaquetado al vacío hace imposible que el agua que contiene salga al exterior, evitando así su deshidratación. De este modo sus propiedades nutricionales quedan intactas y al mantener el agua conservamos también el sabor y la textura de los alimentos.

Por otro lado, también impedimos que se formen cristales de hielo (escarcha) en la superficie de los productos, al estar aislados completamente de la atmósfera del congelador. Con ello evitamos dañar sobre todo vegetales y productos frescos.

 

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