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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