*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
               ENSURING HIGH-QUALITY CANNED FOODS (PART 1 OF
 
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 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Canning                          Information
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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 *****  NONE  *****
 
   Begin with good-quality fresh foods suitable for
   canning. Quality varies among varieties of fruits and
   vegetables. Many county Extension offices can
   recommend varieties best suited for canning. Examine
   food carefully for freshness and wholesomeness.
   Discard diseased and moldy food. Trim small diseased
   lesions or spots from food.
   
   Can fruits and vegetables picked from your garden or
   purchased from nearby producers when the products are
   at their peak of quality-within 6 to 12 hours after
   harvest for most vegetables. For best quality,
   apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums should
   be ripened 1 or more days between harvest and canning.
   If you must delay the canning of other fresh produce,
   keep it in a shady, cool place.
   
   Fresh home-slaughtered red meats and poultry should be
   chilled and canned without delay. Do not can meat from
   sickly or diseased animals. Ice fish and seafoods
   after harvest, eviscerate immediately and can them
   within 2 days.
   
   Maintaining Color and Flavor in Canned Food
   
   To maintain good natural color and flavor in stored
   canned food, you must:
   
   * Remove oxygen from food tissues and jars,
   * Quickly destroy the food enzymes,
   * Obtain high jar vacuums and airtight jar seals.
   
   Follow these guidelines to ensure that your canned
   foods retain optimum colors and flavors during
   processing and storage:
   
   * Use only high-quality foods which are at the proper
   maturity and are free of diseases and bruises.
   
   * Use the hot-pack method, especially with acid foods
   to be processed in boiling water
   
   * Don't unnecessarily expose prepared foods to air.
   Can them as soon as possible.
   
   * While preparing a canner load of jars, keep peeled,
   halved, quartered, sliced, or diced apples, apricots,
   nectarines, peaches, and pears in a solution of 3
   grams (3,000 milligrams) ascorbic acid to 1 gallon of
   cold water. This procedure is also useful in
   maintaining the natural color of mushrooms and
   potatoes, and for preventing stem-end discoloration in
   cherries and grapes. You can get ascorbic acid in
   several forms:
   
    ** Pure powdered form--seasonally available among
   canners' supplies
       in supermarkets. One level teaspoon of pure powder
   weighs about 3
       grams. Use 1 teaspoon per gallon of water as a
   treatment solution.
   
    ** Vitamin C tablets--economical and available
   year-round in many
       stores. Buy 500-milligram tablets; crush and
   dissolve six tablets per
       gallon of water as a treatment solution.
   
    ** Commercially prepared mixes of ascorbic and citric
       acid--seasonally available among canners' supplies
   in
       supermarkets. Sometimes citric acid powder is sold
   in
       supermarkets, but it is less effective in
   controlling
       discoloration. If you choose to use these
   products, follow the
       manufacturer’s directions.
   
   * Fill hot foods into jars and adjust headspace as
   specified in recipes.
   
   * Tighten screw bands securely, but if you are
   especially strong, not as tightly as possible.
   
   * Process and cool jars.
   
   * Store the jars in a relatively cool, dark place,
   preferably between
     50 degrees and 70 degrees F.
   
   * Can no more food than you will use within a year.
   
   ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ  ÿ * USDA Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539
   (rev. 1994) * Meal-Master format courtesy of Karen
   Mintzias
  
 
 
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