Canning  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food is processed and sealed in an airtight container. The process was first developed as a French military discovery by Nicolas Appert in 1810. The packaging prevents microorganisms from entering and proliferating inside.

To prevent the food from being spoiled before and during containment, quite a number of methods are used: pasteurization, boiling (and other applications of high temperature over a period of time), refrigeration, freezing, drying, vacuum treatment, antimicrobial agents that are natural to the recipe of the foodstuff being preserved, a sufficient dose of ionizing radiation, submersion in a strong saline solution, acid, base, osmotically extreme (for example very sugary) or other microbe-challenging environments.

No such method is perfectly dependable as a preservative. For example, spore-forming, thermal-resistant microorganisms, such as Clostridium botulinum (which causes botulism), can still survive most sterilization techniques at least in small numbers.

From a public safety point of view, foods with low acidity (a pH more than 4.6) need sterilization under high temperature (116-130 °C). To achieve temperatures above the boiling point requires the use of a pressure canner. Foods that must be pressure canned include most vegetables, meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products. The only foods that may be safely canned in an ordinary boiling water bath are highly acidic ones with a pH below 4.6, such as fruits, pickled vegetables, or other foods to which acidic additives have been added.


See also

Famous canned foods





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Canning" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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