Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600936


     The high percentage of water in most fresh foods  makes
them very perishable.  They spoil or lose their quality  for
several reasons:                                            

     *  growth of undesirable microorganisms--bacteria,     
        molds, and yeasts.                                  
     *  activity of food enzymes.                           
     *  reactions with oxygen.                              
     *  moisture loss.                                      

     Microorganisms   live  and  multiply  quickly  on   the
surfaces of fresh food and on the inside of bruised, insect-
damaged, and diseased food.  Oxygen and enzymes are  present
throughout fresh food tissues.                              

     Proper canning practices include:                      

     *  carefully selecting and washing fresh food.         
     *  peeling some fresh foods.                           
     *  hot packing many foods.                             
     *  adding acids (lemon juice or vinegar) to some       
     *  using acceptable jars and self-sealing lids.        
     *  processing jars in a boiling-water or pressure      
         canner for the correct period of time.             

     Collectively,  these practices remove  oxygen;  destroy
enzymes; prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeasts,
and  molds;  and  help form a high  vacuum  in  jars.   Good
vacuums  form tight seals which keep liquid in and  air  and
microorganisms out.                                         

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