Food Preservation (Lesson 24)

Elizabeth S. Reames, Roy, Heli J.

What You Will Learn

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:

  1. Identify the two types of canners used in preserving food at home.
  2. Identify the recommended source for safe canning instructions. 
  3. State two advantages of home-canned food. 
  4. State two hazards of improperly canning foods at home.

The Basics

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:  For specific home-canning instructions, use these resources correctly.

Advantages of Home Canning

When done properly, home canning serves as a way to:

·save money. 

· produce foods that are more nutritious than fresh produce sold in stores. 
(For example, vegetables that are promptly canned after harvest.)

Be Aware

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.

2/9/2010 12:53:26 AM
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