Home canning has changed greatly over the years. Food science has led us to safer canning techniques and better quality canned goods. If you have the time, canning home-grown food may save you half the cost of retail canned goods!
Upon completing the lesson you will be able to:
Whether food should be processed in a pressure canner or a boiling-water canner depends on the food's acid level. Acid prevents the growth of bacteria in food. It can also destroy bacteria when a food is properly heated.
· Foods that have a high acid level should be canned using the boiling-water canner.
· Foods with a low acid level should be canned using a pressure canner.
Don't guess at which procedure is best for your product. Follow product-specific guidelines for canning.
Whether you are a first-time canner or an experienced canner, use only USDA-based recommendations. The Cooperative Extension Service publishes a complete Home Canning series that follows these guidelines. Or a complete set of USDA-based publications on canning can be found here: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/index.html. For specific home-canning instructions, use these resources correctly.
When done properly, home canning serves as a way to:
· produce foods that are more nutritious than fresh produce sold in stores.
(For example, vegetables that are promptly canned after harvest.)
The benefits of home canning can be lost when:
· you use bruised, cut or over-ripe foods.
·you do not follow proper canning procedures.
(The food may spoil or the quality, such as flavor, texture, color and nutrients, may break down during storage.)
· food-borne illness from improperly canned foods causes illness or death.