Volume 26 Number 3 ts-of
JULY 1, 1916
W. A. McRAE
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
THE CANNING AND PRESERVING
OF VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Entered January 31, 1903, at Tallabasee, Florida, as second-elaa
matter under Act of Congress of June, 1900.
THESE BULLETINS ARE ISSUED FREE TO THOSE REQUESTING THEM
T. J. APPLEYARD, STATE PRINTER
S ___ a2
^ fo ^~bi
THE CANNING AND PRESERVING OF
VEGETABLES AND FRUITS.
A Compilation of Information Relating to the Above
Subjects From Numerous Sources.
BY H. S. ELLIOT,
Chief Clerk, Department of Agriculture.
Much demand has been made upon the Department
recently for reliable information on these subjects. To
supply this in a reliable form the writer has gathered
from many sources the information that follows:
PRESERVATION OF FOOD AT HOME.
Statistics show that approximately one half of the
products of the garden truck farm and orchard go to
waste, while one half of the world goes to bed hungry at
night for the want of these same foods. Be that as it
may, we do know that much of the world gets up hungry
every morning and that those wasted food products
would fill "many an aching void," to the mutual advan-
tage of producer and consumer, if distance and market-
ing facilities could be overcome.
Almost every housekeeper has at some time "put up"
fruits and vegetables with more or less success, often
less; then become discouraged and finally decided that
factory canned goods are cheaper than "bothering with"
home canning. The many canning clubs of girls, by can-
ning the home grown products, are proving that from six
cents to fifteen cents per can may be saved besides utiliz-
ing products that would otherwise go to waste.
WHY FOOD SPOILS OR DECOMPOSES.
In the old method of home canning we worked accord-
ing to vague rules without knowing or asking why the
canned goods often "worked" or spoiled. We no longer
work by faith, but demand the evidence of things not
seen by the normal vision, and such great scientists as
Pasteur and Lebig have given us the benefit of their
microscopic observations. They tell us the air, water,
soil, and all vegetable and animal life are the hosts for
millions of little micro-organisms, called bacteria. yeast
and molds. They spoil for our use, vegetables, fruits or
meats, by forming acids, carbonic-acid gas, and other
compounds useless and harmful to us. Generally, bac-
teria do not develop in substances containing a high per
cent of sugar, hence preserves and jellies are not so hard
to keep. Neither do bacteria thrive in vegetables or
fruits containing a large amount of acids. This is why
lemons, rhubarb, and other acid fruits and vegetables
keep a long while when put up only with cold water.
The food stuffs rich in protein, like beaiWs and peas, are
hard to keep because these are the favored food of bac-
teria, which are more difficult to destroy than yeast or
molds, for they reproduce by spores that are very resist-
ant to heat. These spores, if not destroyed in the first
boiling, will vegetate or begin to grow at a very rapid
rate, so you see the necessity of the second day, and even
the third day sterilizing or boiling of such canned goods
in order that every spore may be destroyed.
Common sense, good judgment, and careful work are
bound to succeed in canning. If boiling or sterilizing is
properly done, so that all germ life is destroyed, and the
cans sealed air tight it is impossible for fruits, vegetables
or meats to decay; hence, the necessity of the repeated
"sterilize," "sterilize" will be obviated.
Any one can can, with even the slightest outfit, if the
right care is taken. The old open kettle method can be
used if jars, cans, tops and vessels are sterilized before
putting in the fruits or vegetables, and then taking the
precaution to cook or sterilize one hour for three suc-
cessive days, to destroy all germs or spores.
A common wash boiler, with a fitted top and racks
made with handles to lift out the cans or jars, is a con-
venient and easy utensil to use on the kitchen stove. A
large lard can or wash tub may be used out of doors,
with any ordinary charcoal furnace, or an old wash tub,
inverted and fitted with a joint of stove pipe, and a door
cut out on the opposite side for putting in the fuel; or
even a*hole in the ground with a stove pipe or other flue
will answer for the fire box in using the "cold-pack"
method. A portable home canner is not expensive and
is as much a necessity in the home as a cultivator, sew-
ing machine, or cream separator. A portable hot water
canner, with the firebox attached, can be bought for from
$5 to $10. The steam pressure outfits are more expensive,
but takes less time, for the greater heat secured accom-
plishes sterilization more rapidly. Steam under fifteen
pounds pressure destroys all bacteria and spores.
METHODS OF FOOD PRESERVATION.
1. Harmful Chemical Preservatives.
2. Low Temperature.
5. Harmless Chemical Preservatives.
Harmful Chemical Preservatives, or the So-Called Ire-
serving Powders, Which Prevent the Growth of Bac-
teria.-While some of these are not harmful in them-
selves, yet they are dangerous as food preservatives, for
food already in an unwholesome condition from bacteria
may be preserved in that condition and become a menace
to the user. The use of such chemicals is a violation of
the pure food laws and should not belused.
Preservation by Means of Low Temperature.-The
making of artificial ice and refrigerators have made the
preservation of food on a large scale of greatest import-
ance. Bacteria, yeasts and molds do not vegetate at a
Preservation by Means of Heat.-This, combined with
harmless chemicals, such as sugar, salt, spices, and
vinegar, are the chief methods used in the home.
CANNING TERMS DEFINED.
Scald means to subject the fruit or vegetables to boil-
ing water for about five minutes, so that the skin thereof
can be easily removed.
To blanch is to allow the fruit or vegetables to remain
in the hot water for a longer period than five minutes to
remove the skins or to soften the product. It is used for
such things as corn, beans, beets, etc.
Cold dip means to dip the product into cold water
after scalding or blanching, so that it can be more easily
Sealing (see also "capping") is to place the caps or
tops on the jars or cans. In the case of jars it is advis-
able to strew the tops on lightly at first and then fasten
firmly when the jars are cool.
Sterilizing means to boil until all germ life is de-
stroyed. The time required for sterilizing various prod-
ucts is given in the "Time Table" following.
Exhausting. This means to cook the canned material
for a few minutes before tipping to let the air out.
Zinc flux is made by adding to muriatic acid as much
zinc as it will dissolve and then adding an equal amount
Sal amoniac flux. This is made by mixing equal parts
of dry sal ammoniac with chips of solder. Solder will not
adhere or stick to tin without flux or a similar substance,
such as resin.
Tinning the steel. To put the hot steel used for cap-
ping cans into zinc-acid flux reheat it, then put it into sal
ammoniac and solder, turning the steel several times until
it is smooth and bright.
Capping is to solder the little tops on the cans with
the capping steel. (There is a new capping steel on the
market with a gasoline blast that saves time in heating).
Tipping is to close and seal the little air vent. Some
directions say exhaust and tip.
TO REMOVE SKINS FROM PEACHES, PEARS AND PLUMS.
The hardest work in canning and preserving is peeling
the fruit. The pure food law allows the following method
of peeling: Bring nine gallons of water to a boil; add
one-half can of caustic potash or concentrated lye, and
one-half ounce of alum. Lower the fruit in a wire basket
or cheese cloth into the boiling solution; let remain two
minutes; dip into cool water wash thoroughly to remove
TO REMOVE SKINS FROM TOMATOES.
Place tomatoes in a wire basket or thin cheese cloth;
lower into boiling water and let remain from one to five
minutes till skins begin to crack; dip in cold water;
remove the core with a sharp small knife and peel the
skin from the tomato.
TO REMOVE SKINS FROM BEETS AND CARROTS.
Same as from tomatoes, only let them remain in the
boiling water longer.
TIME TABLE FOR BLANCHING.
Blanch peas, beans, etc............... 5 to 10 minutes
Blanch corn on cob ................. 5 to 15 minutes
Blanch pumpkins, squash, mangoes.... 5 minutes
Blanch okra, cabbage, sweet potatoes.. 5 minutes
Blanch asparagus ................... 5 to 10 minutes
Blanch greens ........................ 10 to 20 minutes
Blanch rhubarb, beet tops, etc......... 6 to 10 minutes
Scald tomatoes, plums, pears, etc..... 1 to 2 minutes
Scald peaches, apricots............... 1 to 2 minutes
Blanch vegetables to reduce bulk...... 20 minutes
USEFUL TABLES FOR THE CANNER.
The pure food law requires a minimum weight of 32
ounces of tomatoes for No. 3 cans and 22 ounces for No.
When filled invert cans in tray and allow them to
drain; then fill them with tomato juice. Do not fill with
One bushel of tomatoes will fill 18 No. 3 cans.
One bushel of tomatoes will fill 24 No. 2 cans.
.1.000 No. 1 tin cans will cost about $10.00.
1.000 No. 2 tin cans will cost about $14.00
1,000 No. 3 tin cans will cost about $16.00.
1,000 No. 10 tin cans will cost about $18.00.
Three and four color labels cost from $1.00 to $2.00
Solder-hemmed caps cost from $1.25 to $1.50 per 1,000
The average freight car will hold about 85,000 No. 2
cans, or 55,000 No. 3 cans not cased.
When shipped in cases, the average freight car will
hold about 43,000 No. 2 cans and 30,000 No. 3 cans.
S1,000 No. 2 empty cans will weigh about 212 pounds.
1,000 No. 3 empty cans will weigh about 310 pounds.
One case of 24 No. 2 empty cans will weigh about 13
One case of 24 No. 3 empty cans will weigh about 17
2/3, beans 1/3..
Special Preparation Before Canning.
Cut in lengths to fit jar.1 Blanch
5 minutes and drain..............
Blanch until skin is easily removed.
Can whole, in slices, or in quarters..
Hull by hand. Blanch 5 minutes....
Remove strings; cut into 1 inch pieces.
Blanche 5 minutes and drain before
putting into cans ................
Blanch 5 to 15 minutes on the cob and
scrape cob, or score grains before
cutting from the cob..............
Cut in thin slices, drop in boiling water
and let stand 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain and pack in jar.............
Shell. Blanch 5 minutes. Remove
wrinkled peas. Put into cans......
Peel, cut into small blocks. Blanch 5
m minutes .........................
Wash free from all sand and grit. Re-
move discolored leaves. Blanch 20
minutes. Drain and pack in jars ...
Prepare corn and beans as directed....
Boil until skin will peel off. Cut in
convenient sizes to fit cans........
Scald from 1 to 5 minutes. Remove
skins. Save any juice escaping.....
Corn 1/3, toma- Prepare each as directed above and mix
toes 2/3 .......
Time Table for Canning Food With Intermittent
Time of cooking
Ss S *
ay -a' c
Time Table for Canwing Food With One Period of
(To be followed in the use of the different types of
portable home canners. For altitude of 4,000 feet or
more above sea level, add about twenty or twenty-five
per cent more time to this schedule.)
Aaragus (greens) r
Blackberries, dewberries ........... I 2 or 3
Cherries, peaches ................. 2or
Corn without acids ................. 2
Grapes, pears, plums ............... 2
Bens (Lma aomny .......................... 2 or
luckelberries ..................... or
Peas (field ..................... 2
Peas (Garden or English ......... I 2
Pineapples ........ ................ 2 or 3
Raspberries ....................... 2 3
auerkraut ............. ......... or 3
Sausage .......................... 1 2
Sweet potatoes ................... or
Strawberries ...................... .
Succotas (fleld........................ 2 or 3
Tomatoes ......................... 2 or 3
Tomatoes and corn ............... 2
Grape juice ....... ... .......... 2
Q uince ........................... I 3
Tomato juice ..................... 2
Pum pkin ......................... 3
Fisha pork ........................
Chicken, beef ............... .
Succotash . or 3
FigTomatoes and corn............ ................. 2
SquGrape asjuice ......................... 3
Spinach ........................... 3
Other greens .................... .
Rhubarb ................. ........ 3
B pets ............................ 3
'ime of cooking) minutes
20 151 121 10
15 i3 10 6
60 60a1 40 30
15 12 10 6
90 60 60 30
8 90 3
15 12 10 5
240 180 00 60
60 60 40 35
15 12 10 5
60 60 40 30
50 50 40 30
50 50 40 30
60 60 40 30
240 180 90 60
30 25 10 10
15 12 8 5
50 50 40 25
60 60 40 35
80 70 60 40
20 15 10 5
60 60 40 :10
22 20 10 6
80 70 60 40
15 15 10 5
30 25 15 10
20 20 15 10
50 50 40 30
200 200 120 60
250 240 180 40
80 20 10 5
50 40 30 20
60-90 60-90 40-90 30-40
90 90 60 40
25 25 15 10
90 75 60 40
Sirups for use in canning are made by boiling granu-
lated sugar with pure water at 212 degrees F. All the
impurities which rise to the top should be carefully
removed with a spoon or ladle until the sirup appears
clear and transparent. If the fruit is properly sterilized
the syrup will not add anything to the keeping qualities.
The density of the syrup should be determined largely by
Western growers usually make their fruit sirups on
the basis of 11/2 pints of sugar to 1 pint of water, while
many in the east use 1 pint of sugar to 11/ pints of water.
This accounts in a large measure for the greater popu-
larity of the western canned fruits.
1 pint of sugar to 1 gill of water makes a sirup of 40
1 pint of sugar to 1/2 pint of water makes a sirup of 32
1 pint of sugar to 1 pint of water makes a sirup of 24
1 pint of sugar to 11/ pints of water makes a sirup of
17 degrees density..
1 pint of sugar to 2 pints of water makes a sirup of 14
For preserving cherries, strawberries, etc., a sirup of
40 degrees density is used. For preserving currants,
plums, quinces, etc., a sirup of 24 degrees to 32 degrees
density is used.
For canning blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches,
pears, plums, and raspberries, a sirup of 14 degrees to 17
degrees density is used.
SIRUP DENSITY TABLE.
To enable any person to prepare sirup of any desired
density, the following table is supplied. No allowance
has been made in the table for evaporation:
Percentage (or degrees) of density Sugar Water
12 per cent ......................... 11/2 5I 1
15 per cent................... . 3 81/
18 per cent ......................... 4 10%1
2'4 per cent......................... 6 91/
2S per cent......... ...... .. .......... 7 9
3. per cent.................... .. 7 61/
40 per cent........................ 2 1/2
50 per cent......................... 1
60 per cent......................... 6 2
64 per cent......................... 16 41/2
The above outfits are freely advertised in the papers
and magazines published in the interest of the various
branches of Agriculture, and are usually reasonable in
price as well as efficient.
PRESERVES, JELLIES AND MARMALADES.
Sour fruits or slightly unripe fruits and berries are
best for jellies, as the pectin is at its best then; when too
ripe, or when the fruit ferments, or is cooked too long,
the pectin undergoes a change and loses its power to
jell. Juicy fruits should not be gathered wet as they
absorb quantities of water and would require too much
boiling. If the fruit is dusty wash quick to prevent
absorbing too much water. It requires more work and
skill to make jelly out of fruit to which water must be
added than from juicy fruits.
Undiluted guava juice consists of over 90 per cent. of
water, about 5 per cent. of sugars, and a small percent-
age of pectin and acid. It also contains some substances
which give the color and flavor to the jelly made from it.
Pure guava jelly usually contains about 20 per cent. of
water, about 75 per cent. of sugars, and the rest is
pectin, acid, etc. During the boiling of the mixture of
juice and cane-sugar, the acid acts on the sugar, and
changes part of it into invert sugar, so that it forms a
sirup; and if there is. enough acid the sugar will not
crystallize out. This strong sirup causes the pectin to
set as a jelly. The pink color is deepened by longer boil-
ing, or by more acid.
AMOUNTS OF JUICE AND SUGAR.
Suppose a large amount of water is added when cook-
ing the guavas. Now if equal amounts of this diluted
juice and cane-sugar are taken to make the jelly, there
may not be enough pectin, in which case the jelly will not
set properly, or will be sticky if it does set; or there may
not be enough acid, and the jelly will "sugar;" or there
may not be enough of the guava flavor. If a large amount
of water has been used in cooking the fruit, more juice
and less sugar should be taken to make the jelly. If the
guavas have been cooked in a double boiler without
water, equal amounts of juice and sugar will yield a good
jelly. It was found that the juice from two pounds of
ripe guavas, with one pound of sugar, yielded less than
one and a half pounds of jelly.
HOW FAR TO BOIL.
When boiling the jelly, the temperature rises as more
and more water evaporates. To secure a uniform jelly,
it is desirable always to stop at the same point. This can
best be done by the use of a glass thermometer. Such
an instrument, reading to 3000 F., can usually be bought
from a drug store; or if not procurable there, can be pur-
chased for 60 cents from the Arthur H. Thomas Com-
pany, Philadelphia. In a series of tests it was found that
the best jelly was made when the boiling was stopped at
2350 F. It is usually necessary to stop the boiling for a
moment, when using the thermometer, because of the
bubbling. If the same amount of water is always used in
cooking the ripe guavas, and the same proportions of
juice and sugar are taken, and if the temperature which
is found to give the best jelly is measured with a ther-
mometer, it will be possible to turn out a uniform
product year after year.
No iron or steel should come in contact with the fruit
or juice. The guavas may be heated till soft in an
enameled or aluminum vessel with a small amount of
water at the bottom, or in a double boiler. The juice
should be squeezed out through cloth in a strong press,
measured, and the proper amount of granulated sugar
added. A deep aluminum vessel is useful for boiling
down the juice. When the sugar has dissolved, the hot
solution can be filtered through cloth. It is boiled down
till the thermometer marks the proper temperature, and
then run into glasses or molds.
Pick out all stems and leaves, put the berries in a
kettle with some water if fruit is not very juicy, heat
slowly, mash with potato masher and turn into a colan-
der over which a cheese cloth is folded, to drain. Measure
juice and add equal amount of sugar. The same method
can be used for dewberries, currants, strawberries, etc.
Use unripe fruit. Put in preserving kettle with one
quart of water to each peck of fruit. Cook until plums
fall to pieces, then strain and add one pint of sugar for
every pint of juice. Simmer slowly, then put in glasses.
All wild fruits such as grapes, raspberries and wild
plums make excellent jellies. If the jelly is covered with
paper dipped in alcohol before putting away al1 mold
spores will be destroyed, then another paper coming
down over the sides of the glass is tied or pasted over the
Cook the fruit in preserving kettle, never in one of tin
or zinc, however, as that produces an oxide that is poison-
ous. Crush the fruit with a wooden spoon or potato
masher, boil and drain through a sieve or colander with
cheese cloth in it. Put the juice in sterilized bottles, place
in water and boil 30 minutes, seal and put in a cool place
to keep. If sweet juice is desired add sugar to it before
Peach, plum, and grape juice are all made alike ani
very similar to jelly. If sugar is used a gill to the quarl:
of juice is used. This juice is not boiled down as in
jelly, only brought to a boil in order to skim and put in
bottles hot; crushed fruits may be saved as jams, mar-
malades or vinegar.
Add warm water to the fruit peelings or crushed fruiits
left over from jelly or juice, set aside until it ceases to
ferment, then drain off in jars or jugs, cork and keep cool.
The mother from vinegar or small yeast cake will hasten
the process. This applies to vinegar made from all fruits
Use equal weight figs and sugar, add water to begin
sugar to one quart jar. Water enough to cover. Place
in canner and cook one hour.
Use equal weight figss and sugar, add water to begin
the cooking. Add sliced lemon, one to each gallon. Cook
until sirup thickens.
Use one-half as much sugar as fruit by measure. Prick
fruit, cover with water and boil until sirup thickens. The
same process is used in preserving peaches and other
Marmalades are simply crushed fruits or berries
cooked slowly, as no water is added. Measure the fruit
and add one pint of sugar to each quart of fruit. Cook
slowly and stir frequently. This is an excellent way to
preserve fruits and berries too ripe to preserve whole.
Cook about two hours over slow heat. Put the marma-
lade in sterilized jars and seal.
MELON RIND PRESERVES.
Cut off all red and green parts of the melon. Add
one-half as much sugar as melon by weight to remaining
white rind which should be in small sliced pieces. Sliced
lemons, one to each gallon, improves the preserves. Boil
until sirup thickens.
GRAPEFRUIT JUICE FOR SUMMER BEVERAGE.
A Simple Method of Making a By-Product to Save the
Waste of Grapefruit.
A simple method of bottling the juice of grapefruit for
use in making acid beverages as a means of gaining a
useful by-product from hundreds of thousands of cases
of grapefruit which now are wasted.
All that is necessary is to bring the grapefruit juice
to the boiling point in a porcelain-lined or enameled
kettle, pour it while still hot into bottles, which then are
hermetically sealed. The juice when so handled will
keep indefinitely, and provides a base for grapefruit-ade
or other acid beverages having the characteristic acid
and flavor of the fruit. Experiments shlw that it is
highly important that the bottle be completely filled so
that no layer of air be left between the top of the juice
and the cork or seal. Where air in any amount comes
in contact with the top of the sterilized juice it will
cause the juice to change its color. In handling the juice
it is particularly important that it be kept from coming
into contact with iron or other metals easily acted upon
It is also possible to freeze the grapefruit juice into
solid ice and then by whirling the ice in a centrifugal
machine, to take out a large part of the water and leave
the solids and flavoring matter of the fruit. This freez-
ing and concentrating of the juice greatly reduces the
bulk and makes a product which can be sterilized by
heating and kept indefinitely. Care must be taken to
keep the juice from coming in contact with iron.
Those who wish to make a clear juice, may filter the
grapefruit juice before it is heated by adding to it from
2 to 3 per cent (about 3 ounces avoirdupois to the
gallon) of infusorial or Fuller's earth well washed with
hot water. The mixture is then forced through a non-
metallic filter press and the clear juice reheated and
boiled. With the freezing process, the juice is filtered
after concentration, about twice the amount of infusorial
or Fuller's earth being used per gallon of concentrate.
The same process is not suitable for bottling the juice
of oranges and lemons, which will not retain their flavor
if handled in this way.
While as yet, there is no commercial market for
sterilized grapefruit juice, it is believed that many per-
sons will find this juice, with the addition of water and
sugar, a pleasant variation from lemonade or limeade.
Those who like grapefruit should find the beverage in-
viting. The method is so simple that those in regions
where grapefruit are cheap and plentiful can prepare this
product on a small scale with ordinary household