Ensuring Safe Canned Foods
Botulism, a deadly form of food poisoning is caused by the growth of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum in canned foods. These bacteria spores, similar to plant seeds can subsist safely in soil and water for an extended period of time. However, in moist and low acid-foods, in an environment with less than 2% oxygen, and temperatures between (40°-120°F), the spores harvest vegetative cells that produce a deadly neurotoxin, quickly multiply within 3 to 4 days. These are harmless on fresh foods because they only grow in areas with no air.
Food acidity and processing methods
Depending on the acidity of the food, it can be processed in a pressure canner or a boiling-water canner to manage botulinum bacteria growth. Some foods, such as fruits contain natural acidity, while others, such as pickled food, have added acidity. pH is the term used to measure acidity, the lower the value, the more acid the food contains. Canned foods need to have a pH value lower than 4.6 to avoid the growth of these bacteria. Low acid foods, which include red meats, seafood, milk, and most fresh vegetables (except tomatoes) have a pH higher than 4.6. If these items were to be canned as acid foods, they must be acidified with lemon juice or citric acid to a pH of 4.6 or less. Acid foods, such as fruits, pickles, jams, and jellies hold enough…show more content… Water content contains moisture level and the energy state of water in that food. The energy status spark the chemical reactions for an microorganism to grow or not grow. Sugar, salt, protein, or starch decrease the amount of water available. Therefore, foods with lower water activity are less likely to spoil because of bacteria. Acidity or pH, is the content of hydrogen ions, measured from 0-14. Foods with a pH below 7.0 are acidic and those with a pH above 7.0 are alkaline or basic. A pH of 7.0 is neutral, like