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canning

canning, process of hermetically sealing cooked food for future use. It is a preservation method, in which prepared food is put in glass jars or metal cans that are hermetically sealed to keep out air and then heated to a specific temperature for a specified time to destroy disease-causing microorganisms and prevent spoilage. Low-acid foods, such as meats, are heated to 240°–265°F (116°–129°C), while acidic foods, such as fruits, are heated to about 212°F (100°C). Canning was invented in 1809 by Nicholas Appert. The process proved moderately successful and was gradually put into practice in other European countries and in the United States. Glass containers were used at first, but they proved bulky, costly, and brittle. Early canmaking was slow and expensive; sheets of tin were cut with shears, bent around a block, and the seams heavily soldered. A good tinsmith could make only about 60 cans a day. The industry began to assume importance with the invention in 1847 of the stamped can. Because of the food requirements of soldiers during the U.S. Civil War, considerable amounts of canned meats and vegetables were produced. Salmon from the Columbia River was canned in 1866 and salmon from Alaska in 1872. A machine for shaping and soldering was exhibited in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. The open-top can of the 20th cent., with a soldered lock seam and double-seamed ends, permits easy cleaning and filling. Cans used for foods that react with metals, causing discoloration (usually harmless), may be coated with a lacquer film. Highly specialized machinery, knowledge of bacteriology and food chemistry, as well as more efficient processes of cooking, have combined to make the commercial canning of food an important feature of modern life. The range of products canned has increased enormously and includes meat and poultry; fruits and vegetables; seafood; milk; and preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, and sauces. The general principles of commercial and home canning are the same, but the factory more accurately controls procedures and has highly specialized machinery. The Mason jar, popular in home canning, was patented in 1858. Home canning grew in popularity during World War II, when the harvest of "victory gardens" was canned. Canning leads to a loss of nutrient value in foods, particularly of the water-soluble vitamins. The home-canning methods recommended today are much more specific than the old-fashioned methods, which are no longer considered safe.

See A. C. Hersom and E. D. Hulland, Canned Foods (1981); C. Walker, The Complete Book of Canning (1982).

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Canning

CANNING


Canning was a process for preserving food (vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish) by heating and sealing it in airtight containers. The method was developed by French candy-maker Nicolas-Francois Appert (c. 17501841) in 1809, though he did not understand why the process worked. Some fifty years later, the pioneering French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (18221895) explained that heating was necessary to the canning process since it killed bacteria (microorganisms) that would otherwise spoil the food.

Canning was introduced to the U.S. consumer market in stages. In 1821 the William Underwood Company began a canning operation in Boston, Massachusetts. Oyster canning began in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1840s. In 1853 U.S. inventor Gail Borden (18011874) developed a way to condense and preserve milk in a can and he founded the Borden Company four years later. In 1858 U.S. inventor John Landis Mason (18321902) developed a glass jar and lid suited to home-canning.

Early commercial canning methods in the United States did not ensure a safe product; as such, many female consumers avoided canned convenience foods. Nevertheless, the canning industry grew rapidly, due in part to the male marketcowboys in particular. Between 1860 and 1870 the U.S. canning industry increased output from five million to thirty million cans.

Convenience and long shelf life of canned foods helped them to catch on even though the canning process changed food flavor, color, and texture. Improvements in the manufacturing process during the 1870s helped eliminate the chance that cans would burst. By the end of the 1800s a wide variety of canned foods were available at increasingly lower prices and were common in the urban diet. Companies such as Franco-American advertised in women's magazines, promoting their "delicacies in tins." An outbreak of botulism in the 1920s prompted the U.S. canning industry to make further improvements to its preservation processes, but consumer demand for canned products persisted.

See also: Borden

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canning

canning The process of preserving food by sterilization and cooking in a sealed metal can, which destroys bacteria and protects from recontamination. If foods are sterilized and cooked in glass jars which are then closed with hermetically sealed lids, the process is known as bottling. Canned foods are sometimes known as tinned foods, because the cans were made using tin‐plated steel. More commonly now they are made of lacquered steel or aluminium. In aseptic canning, foods are pre‐sterilized at a very high temperature (150–175 °C) for a few seconds, and then sealed into cans under sterile (aseptic) conditions. The flavour, colour, and retention of vitamins are superior with this short‐time, high‐temperature process than with conventional canning.

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"canning." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Canning

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