Cultures around the world have preserved and canned food for centuries. There are numerous methods to preserve and can fresh fruits, vegetables and even some meat types. Generally, you will find that there are four well-known techniques of canning and preserving various food types.
Methods of Preserving and Canning Food
The following list the most popular means of keeping food fresh over a period of time. These techniques are not in any particular order and most people choose one or more of the approaches depending on what type of food that they are preserving.
- Drying Food
This technique of preserving food is actually the oldest way of food processing and can be used for preserving vegetables, fruits and meats very effectively. Drying has regained its popularity amongst the home-preservation community, because the method is simple and it provides a straightforward way of making healthy natural snacks. Dried foods also require less space for storage.
- Freezing Food
Freezing is a superb way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables. The freezing process involves a method of first blanching the food, either by quickly boiling or steaming it, after which the food is quickly dipped into a cold water bath, which stops enzyme action of cooking the food. Then, the food can then be stored in either a glass or plastic air-proof container or freezer bags. Ensure to promptly place the processed foods into the freezer and keep the temperature at a stable -18 degrees Celsius.
- The Pressure Canning Technique
This method is mostly used with low acidic foods, which includes most vegetables except tomatoes, which is actually considered as a fruit. The ideal temperature for the pressure canning technique must reach 120 degrees Celsius for a certain amount of time in order to destroy all the bacteria.
- The Water Bath Canning Technique
This water bath method is used when canning vegetables, fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, tomatoes and various other relishes. These varieties of high acidic foods should be processed in a boiling water bath of 100 degrees Celsius or more to kill all the present bacteria. Processing times differ for each food type and jar size, do adequate research beforehand.
These four techniques of preserving and canning food have been tried and tested throughout the centuries. As more individuals begin to have concerns about their health and well-being, countless people are starting to processes their own home-grown foods as a means of knowing of what they are actually eating. Why not try home preservation for yourself – Your health and family will thank you for it.
Muun-unit is a hippie, eco-warrior, and nature-loving kind of guy – who enjoys traveling the world and cooking gourmet dishes. He is passionate about everything “green” or eco-friendly, and believes that everyone should do their part in conserving our beautiful environment. Muun-unit wrote this article for South African based food manufacturer that produces healthy canned vegetables.