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I have been making some ice bars recently, and was wondering what the most cost-effective way would be to package them.

I am not talking about Haagen-Daaz level of production capacity but more like a mom-and-pop store kind of capacity, which will be done by hand ;)

Is there an affordable machine/tool that can zip/seal my ice cream bars? I thought about one of those vacuum sealers but I don't think they won't look that good.

I did some research on the types of wrappers and noticed that there is a smooth-end version (picture 1) and a sawtooth-end version (picture 2). I personally prefer the smooth-end version because it looks more elegant.

Or, if such machines are too expensive, are there any other good options that can yield the same results? Maybe custom ordering a pre-sealed package with one end open and has an adhesive on it so I can just slip the bar in and simply zip it that way?

Again, it doesn't have to be of high-capacity. I'd really appreciate your input on this! ;)

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    The smooth end might be 'more elegant', but the reason for the pinking (zig-zag) is often to give the consumer places to focus the stress when tearing into it.
    – Joe
    May 23 '15 at 11:00
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There are many food grade presized "Cello"/"Cellophane" bags. They all use more modern plastics, but are continued to be called "Cello".

Here is one that has an adhesive flap. Others can be used with a heat sealer, twist tie or ribbon.

adhesive bag

Heat sealer

heat sealer enter image description here

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Just use lightweight "zip-loc" style bags. They are available in all sorts of sizes. It only has to be freezer safe, not 100% vacuum packed

Many packaging printers can "screen print" plastic bags

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Vacuum sealing would be bad for multiple reasons. Sucking air out of the product and anerobic bacteria are the two that spring right to mind.

Material/machinery-wise though should probably be cellophane, and a heat seal (you heat the seal, not where the ice cream is.) You should also discuss it with your local food inspector and hear about what they'd like to see before you buy it, not after.

The things you have pictured both came off millions of bars level lines. What you are describing probably plays at the "get clear bags/pouches, and a heat sealer, and perhaps put a label on" level, unless you can find someone willing to make you a real deal on printing the bags without forcing you to buy 10,000 of them.

Without shopping too much, I see bags that might work for a nickle each (1000/$50) and sealers down to $25 or so.

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    Anaerobic bacteria that grow in the freezer?
    – Cascabel
    May 22 '15 at 6:28
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    I'm not saying freezing kills everything. I'm just saying that sucking out the air would not seem to make it more dangerous. If it's contaminated before you package it, whether with listeria or something else, that's the problem. (That outbreak had nothing to do with vacuum sealing, as far as I know - in fact the specific contamination mentioned on that page is of half-gallons, which definitely aren't vacuum sealed.)
    – Cascabel
    May 22 '15 at 13:48
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    printing on the bags might not be that expensive if you do big press runs ... but for convenience, it might be easier to have stickers made, so that you don't have to keep around lots of different types of bags if you can't easily tell them apart on their own in a clear bag.
    – Joe
    May 23 '15 at 10:57

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