Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600935


     Canning  can be a safe and economical way  to  preserve
quality food at home.  Disregarding the value of your labor,
canning homegrown food may save you half the cost of  buying
commercially  canned  food.  Canning  favorite  and  special
products to be enjoyed by family and friends is a fulfilling
experience and a source of pride for many people.           

     Many  vegetables  begin losing some of  their  vitamins
when harvested.  Nearly half the vitamins may be lost within
a few days unless the fresh produce is cooled or  preserved.
Within 1 to 2 weeks, even refrigerated produce loses half or
more  of some of its vitamins.  The heating  process  during
canning  destroys from one-third to one-half of  vitamins  A
and  C, thiamin   and riboflavin.  Once  canned,  additional
losses of these sensitive vitamins are from 5 to 20  percent
each year.  The amounts of other vitamins, however, are only
slightly  lower  in  canned compared with  fresh  food.   If
vegetables  are handled properly and canned  promptly  after
harvest, they can be more nutritious than fresh produce sold
in local stores.                                            

     The advantages of home canning are lost when you  start
with  poor  quality  fresh foods; when  jars  fail  to  seal
properly;  when  food  spoils; and  when  flavors,  texture,
color  and nutrients deteriorate during prolonged storage.  

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