What causes color changes in home-canned foods - and how to prevent it

This month's notes: September 2017: Stored US apples are still  available.  See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops.

Valentine's Day - February 14 - See this website for Valentines Day history, facts and Amazon's top picks for fast, easy, inexpensive gifts for the man, woman or children in your life!

Easter will be April 16, 2017 - if you want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!

And we have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! Also make your own ice cream; see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy  directions

Please tell the farms you found them here - and ask them to update their information!!

Subscribe to our: Email alerts Follow us on Twitter  Add this page to your favorites! - Email this page to a friend, or to yourself


What causes color changes in home-canned foods - and how to prevent it


Why do some of my home-canned foods, like green beans, corn, pears and some other fruit I can, sometimes change color?

In general, oxidation may cause foods to darken at the tops of jars. Oxidation is from air in the jars or too little heating or processing to destroy enzymes. Overprocessing may cause discolored foods throughout the containers. Here are some more specific color changes and their causes:

Pink and blue colors sometimes seen in canned pears, apples, and peaches are caused by chemical changes in the coloring matter of the fruit.

Brown, black, and gray colors may be caused by iron and copper from cooking utensils (or from water in some localities) in some foods. When canned corn turns brown, the discoloring may be due to the variety of the corn, to stage of ripeness, to overprocessing, or to copper or iron pans. Packing liquid may dissolve coloring materials from the foods. To help avoid this, use soft water and to avoid using brass, copper, iron, aluminum, zinc, or chipped enamelware. Also avoid using utensils that have worn surfaces. If the shiny silvery appearance is worn off, the tin metal underneath may be exposed. The water around green beans often may have a reddish brown tint to it. Again, that's not that unusual and may be due to iron or possibly overprocessing. Of course, if the lid bulges then discard the contents.

Darkening of foods at the tops of jars may be caused by oxidation due to air in the jars or by too little heating or processing to destroy enzymes.This is common in jams, jellies and fruit.  Often just adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, or sprinkling Fruit Fresh or finely ground vitamin C tablets will help prevent this.

 Overprocessing may cause discoloration of foods throughout the containers.  Finally, the use of plain tin cans will cause some foods to lose color.

Reference: U.S.D.A. 1976. Home Canning of Fruits and Vegetables. Home and Garden Bulletin No. 8. (Issued February 1965, Slightly revised May 1976). United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Is it safe to eat discolored canned foods?

The color changes noted above do not mean the food is unsafe to eat. However, spoilage may also cause color changes. Any canned food that has an unusual color should be examined carefully before use.

Reference: U.S.D.A. 1976. Home Canning of Fruits and Vegetables. Home and Garden Bulletin No. 8. (Issued February 1965, Slightly revised May 1976). United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Who Invented the Canning Jar?  Does Ball still make jars? - See:

A Brief History of the Home Canning Jar: From Mason to Kerr to Ball and More


Home canning is both an art and a science. Safety and quality are some of the reasons it is important to follow recommended recipes and procedures for home canning. That is the science. The art comes from the experience of what is "finger tight", when is the product packed too full or too loose or determining just the right ripeness.

Free Resources About Storing

top ^

Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 24 hours

Click here for more information, reviews, prices on Amazon.com for Canning and Preserving For Dummies




The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback – May 31, 2016

This is THE book on canning!  My grandmother used this book when I was a child.  It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.  If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information from Amazon.com about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving  


Ball home canning kit water bath canner

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
 


Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 1-2 business days


This page was updated on

Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits

Features:

Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!