Updated: Dec 18, 2022
There are many ways you can store your foods for long-term use, mylar bags is a good way, but I prefer to vacuum seal my dried items. From pasta, sugar, rice, dried beans, herbs, and spices. The list is quite extensive.
You would need a good quality food vacuum sealer, try not to purchase a cheap one. I made that mistake and it caught fire. Check them out and read the reviews on them, it will be worth your while doing this and save you the disappointment.
They are not expensive, I got this one from Fresko for £40, and it is really good, no clips to push down, just lay it in the sealing gap and press the button. It has 3 settings, moist, dry and seal. With an external hose for canning. Always read the manual though.
Then you need some decent Vacuum bags, they come in all sizes, just check what the maximum width would be on your sealer. I use embossed or grain side vacuum seal bags, this makes it easier for the machine to seal. Make sure it is not some of the thin ones out there, they will just split.
Most of the time you will be able to pour your contents in and seal them. But when you try and seal pasta or any hard-edged dried foods, you would run the risk of the vacuum bag being pierced.
The solution would be to get some food-grade paper bags, fill them with your hard-dried foods, and then put them in the vacuum bag to be sealed. As you see from the photo, these were sealed in March 2021, and are still perfect.
Once you have sealed them, it would be a good idea to pop them in the freezer for a couple of days, just in case there are any unwanted bugs (ones you cannot see) you can also use diatomaceous earth as well.
Below is a video of some dried milk powder being sealed. As you can see, it's quite easy.
Also, don't forget to use oxygen absorbers on certain foods. Oxygen absorbers are little packets that contain iron. Using a Mylar bag, vacuum bag, or an airtight container, pop the required amount in, then the oxygen molecules will bond to the iron. The purpose is to reduce the amount of oxygen in the storage container.
Here is a guide to the number of oxygen absorbers needed for certain foods. As you see, the right column needs more due to the high moisture content present in the food, compared to the left column with low moisture content. Different countries have varying amounts of units of measure.
A quick note, I would not use an oxygen absorber for sugar, unless you want to have a sugar brick when you open it.
I hope this guide for vacuum sealing your dried foods is helpful. Keep watching the posts for more content.