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       Title: Glossary of Terms (A-L)
  Categories: Canning, Information
       Yield: 1 half
  
  
   Acid foods - Foods which contain enough acid to result in a pH of 4.6 or
   lower. Includes all fruits except figs; most tomatoes; fermented and
   pickled vegetables; relishes; and jams, jellies, and marmalades. Acid
   foods may be processed in boiling water.
   
   Altitude - The vertical elevation of a location above sea level.
   
   Ascorbic acid - The chemical name for vitamin C. Lemon juice contains
   large quantities of ascorbic acid and is commonly used to prevent
   browning of peeled, light-colored fruits and vegetables.
   
   Bacteria - A large group of one-celled microorganisms widely distributed
   in nature. See microorganism.
   
   Blancher - A 6 to 8 quart lidded pot designed with a fitted perforated
   basket to hold food in boiling water, or with a fitted rack to steam
   foods. Useful for loosening skins on fruits to be peeled, or for heating
   foods to be hot packed.
   
   Boiling-water canner - A large standard-sized lidded kettle with jar
   rack, designed for heat-processing 7 quarts or 8 to 9 pints in boiling
   water.
   
   Botulism - An illness caused by eating toxin produced by growth of
   Clostridium botulinum bacteria in moist, low-acid food, containing less
   than 2 percent oxygen, and stored between 40 degrees and 120 degrees F.
   Proper heat processing destroys this bacterium in canned food. Freezer
   temperatures inhibit its growth in frozen food. Low moisture controls
   its growth in dried food. High oxygen controls its growth in fresh
   foods.
   
   Canning - A method of preserving food in air-tight vacuum-sealed
   containers and heat processing sufficiently to enable storing the food
   at normal-home temperatures.
   
   Canning salt - Also called pickling salt. It is regular table salt
   without the anticaking or iodine additives.
   
   Citric acid - A form of acid that can be added to canned foods. It
   increases the acidity of low-acid foods and may improve the flavor and
   color.
   
   Cold pack - Canning procedure in which jars are filled with raw food.
   “Raw pack” is the preferred term for describing this practice. “Cold
   pack” is often used incorrectly to refer to foods that are open-kettle
   canned or jars that are heat-processed in boiling water.
   
   Enzymes - Proteins in food which accelerate many flavor, color, texture,
   and nutritional changes, especially when food is cut, sliced, crushed,
   bruised, and exposed to air. Proper blanching or hot-packing practices
   destroy enzymes and improve food quality.
   
   Exhausting - Removal of air from within and around food and from jars
   and canners. Blanching exhausts air from live food tissues. Exhausting
   or venting of pressure canners is necessary to prevent a risk of
   botulism in low-acid canned foods.
   
   Fermentation - Changes in food caused by intentional growth of bacteria,
   yeast, or mold. Native bacteria ferment natural sugars to lactic acid, a
   major flavoring and preservative in sauerkraut and in naturally
   fermented dills. Alcohol, vinegar, and some dairy products are also
   fermented foods.
   
   Headspace - The unfilled space above food or liquid in jars. Allows for
   food expansion as jars are heated, and for forming vacuums as jars cool.
   
   Heat processing - Treatment of jars with sufficient heat to enable
   storing food at normal home temperatures.
   
   Hermetic seal - An absolutely airtight container seal which prevents
   reentry of air or microorganisms into packaged foods.
   
   Hot pack - Heating of raw food in boiling water or steam and filling it
   hot into jars.
   
   Low-acid foods - Foods which contain very little acid and have a pH
   above 4.6. The acidity in these foods is insufficient to prevent the
   growth of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Vegetables, some
   tomatoes, figs, all meats, fish, seafoods, and some dairy foods are low
   acid. To control all risks of botulism, jars of these foods must be (1)
   heat processed in a pressure canner, or (2) acidified to a pH of 4.6 or
   lower before processing in boiling water.
   
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   * USDA Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539 (rev. 1994)
   * Meal-Master format courtesy of Karen Mintzias
  
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