Food Preservation–Canning (by Brianna Reinhard, Intern, July 10, 2015)
There are many ways of preserving foods, including drying, freezing, fermenting, pickling, curing, and canning. Canning is a method that utilizes high heat to destroy microorganisms and prevents enzymes from being activated, which ultimately preserves the food inside of the jars and glass bottles. A vacuum seal is creating during the heating and cooling process, which keeps the product airtight until use. This idea was first entertained in the 1790s, after observing that heat application to wine in glass bottles worked as a method of preservation. In 1851 the pressure cooker was patented, which allowed for canning at higher temperatures.
This method is a relatively quick and efficient way to preserve foods, although when done incorrectly there is a risk of bacterial growth that could be harmful. Prior to beginning the preservation process, it is wise to become acquainted with proper and safe techniques and equipment. (See websites below.)
Today many people can items from gardens, local farms, and even grocery store products and leftovers from meals. It is both a family tradition and part of the recent trend in homesteading and the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement.
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