Title Page
 Value of canning
 Table of Contents
 History of canning
 Economic importance of canning
 Leading the world in canning
 Citrus canning in Florida
 Commercial canning of vegetables...
 The canning of meat in Florida
 Seafood canning
 Preserves, jellies, jams and...
 Miscellaneous canning in Flori...
 Directory of canning plants

Group Title: Bulletin - State of Florida, Department of Agriculture ; no. 117
Title: Commercial canning in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014580/00001
 Material Information
Title: Commercial canning in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin
Alternate Title: Canning in Florida
Physical Description: iv, 102 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Shoemaker, Jack
Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallhassee <Fla.>
Publication Date: 1960
Edition: Rev.
Subject: Canned foods industry -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographic references (p. <3> of cover).
Statement of Responsibility: revised by Jack Shoemaker.
General Note: "R August, 1960".
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014580
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001962975
oclc - 29811204
notis - AKD9652
lccn - a 61009071

Table of Contents
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
    Value of canning
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    History of canning
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Economic importance of canning
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Leading the world in canning
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Citrus canning in Florida
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Commercial canning of vegetables in Florida
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    The canning of meat in Florida
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Seafood canning
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Preserves, jellies, jams and marmalades
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Miscellaneous canning in Florida
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Directory of canning plants
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
Full Text






S I I L -


LEE THOMPSON, Commissioner


R. AUGUST, 1960






Revised By
Director, Bureau of Immigration

LEE THOMPSON, Commissioner

R AUGUST) 1960

(SOURCE: National Canners Association)
CANNING is a method of preserving food- by good cooking,
done in airtight containers. Canning spans the seasons,
enabling consumers to obtain any type of food at any
time of the year.
CANNED FOODS are available at any place, at any time, for
consumption in homes or restaurants. Canned foods pro-
vide important sources of vitamins, minerals, and other
nutrients. They have become a necessity in time of war.
THE CANNING INDUSTRY comprises about 2,500 canneries
in 49 states, which annually produce some 1000 different
canned food items: fruits, vegetables, juices, fish and sea
foods, meat, soups, baby foods, milk, preserves, and many
formulated foods.
amounts to more than 22 billion pounds, representing about
9 percent of the nation's food supply, packed in about 700
million actual cases (about 22 billion containers) of canned
and glassed foods, having a retail value of about $4.7 billion.
FARMERS AND GROWERS market a large portion of their
annual harvests through canners and often are guaranteed
a cash income which helps absorb risks involved in mar-
keting other crops on the fresh market. Canners contract
in advance of planting for many vegetables. They pay
farmers and growers about $1.5 billion annually.
WORKERS in the canning industry receive wages amounting
to about $500 million a year. Thousands of workers are
employed the year round in packing nonseasonal foods.
Many others in the canning communities are employed
in canning plants at the peaks of the various seasonal
harvests, when perishable fruits and vegetables are being
canned in volume. At such times, industry employment
may total as many as 350,000 persons. Thousands of others
gain employment in industries producing cannery equip-
ment and supplies and in the distribution and marketing
of canned foods.
THE CANNING INDUSTRY is the nation's third largest user
of steel. Only the automobile and construction industries
exceed the use of steel in Canning, which today is one of
the most highly mechanized of all industries.

Table of Contents

Value of Canning ......... ....... ............. ii

Foreword ....................................... iv

History of Canning ..................... .......... 1

Economic Importance of Canning ................... 9

Leading the World in Canning ..................... 24

Citrus Canning in Florida .......................... 29

Commercial Canning of Vegetables ................. 58

The Canning of Meat in Florida .................... 70

Seafood Canning ................................ 75

Preserves, Jellies, Jams and Marmalades .............. 78

Miscellaneous Canning in Florida ................... 81

Directory of Canning Plants ........................ 88

References ......................... Inside Back Cover


Florida agricultural production was valued at
$832,848,000 for the 1958-59 season, with citrus leading the
list with a value of $347,826,000. Other crops follow:
Truck crops, $158,110,000; Other fruits and edible nuts,
$2,384,000; Field crops, $75,000,000; Livestock, $84,028,000;
Dairy products, $80,000,000; Poultry and products,
$32,500,000; Honey and beeswax, $3,099,000; and the re-
maining value consisting of horticultural specialties, forest
products, and government payments.
This booklet is mainly concerned with those items
grown on Florida farms and groves and sent to processors
for canning purposes. The record reveals that during 1958-
59 182,666 carlot equivalents of fruits and vegetables were
processed here in this State.
The Canning industry supplies much of the food con-
sumed in the United States today and it is our hope that this
booklet will show the readers how this industry fits into the
economy and well being of America and the State of Florida.
To prevent waste in the utilization of perishable food
crops may well be the password and slogan of the canning
industry, for such is the aim of persons engaged in the pack-
ing of wholesome and nutritious foods for everyone to enjoy
safely and economically. While drying, smoking, pickling
and salting were developed in the early years of our history,
it has been only in modern times that canning has become
an important method of food preservation.
Lee Thompson
Commissioner of Agriculture.

COVER -Women workers place succulent grapefruit sections into cans,
one of the major canned citrus items in Florida.


Commercial Canning in Florida

(SOURCE: National Canners Association)
The canning industry, with its immense annual pack and
large payrolls, contributes importantly to the national econ-
omy, aids in a wide distribution of low cost, wholesome
foods, and eliminates much waste resulting from so-called
surplus production. Primarily the canner provides a source
of quick money for the growers, particularly in times of
glutted markets, but equally, if not more important, the
surpluses thus preserved by the canner reach remote con-
sumers who otherwise might be deprived of many palatable
and healthful foods. So the canner's ultimate mission is to
supply the people with proper nourishment regardless of
season and distance.
But to fully understand the canning industry, we must
go back and take a look at the beginning of this Economic
giant of today's life.
In 1795 France not only was fighting most of Europe
but was in the throes of revolution at home. She was vic-
torious over her enemy nations, but her governing body of
five men The Directory was gravely concerned over one
enemy found to be unconquerable. French soldiers and
sailors were dying from scurvy and other diseases. Except
when they could forage, their diet consisted largely of salt
meat and bread, which could not be kept fresh during
military or naval movements of great distance and duration.
The problem was critical. The Directory voted to offer
a 12,000-franc prize to the citizen who could devise a method
of preserving fresh food for transport on campaigns.
An obscure confectioner and chef named Nicolas Appert
worked for 15 years on the problem. His simple theory was
that if food is sufficiently heated and then sealed in a con-

Department of Agriculture

trainer that excludes air, the food will keep, and this is the
fundamental modern principle of canning as practiced today.
Appert filled bottles with various foods, sealed them with
cork stoppers, and cooked them in boiling water. Samples
of his preserved vegetables and fruits were put on sailing
vessels and sent around the world. They retained their
wholesomeness and, in 1810, Appert was awarded the prize
by Count Montalivet, Minister of the Interior.
Appert's procedures, used in canning more than 50 differ-
ent canned foods, were set forth in his treatise, "Art of
Preserving All Kinds of Animal and Vegetable Substances,"
published in 1810, which became the basic reference work
for subsequent developments in canning procedure and
From Appert's time to the present, the history of canning
is a story of inventive genius devoted to the development
of better containers, improved equipment, time-saving ma-
chinery, and research. All of this has led to the discovery
and understanding of the scientific principles on which
canning is based and the practical application of science
to the industry's operations. The humble Appert was not
a scientist. He knew that his process preserved food, but
not why. It remained for the great French scientist, Louis
Pasteur, to reveal to the world that food spoiled through
the process of fermentation because of the action of ever-
present bacteria. Due to the foundations laid by Pasteur
for the science of bacteriology, the canning and preserving
of foods made its real progress, although it was near the
end of the nineteenth century before the pioneer studies of
H. L. Russell in Wisconsin and Samuel C. Prescott and W.
Lyman Underwood of Massachusetts demonstrated the ap-
plication of this new scientific tool to the canning of food.
About the time Appert announced his discovery Bryan
Donkin and John Hall began to preserve foods by his method

Commercial Canning in Florida

in England, and in 1810 Peter Durand introduced and
patented the "tin canister," made of iron coated with tin.
This container could be turned out by a good tinsmith at
the rate of 10 cans a day. Donkin and Hall in 1813 sent
tins of food to authorities of the British army and navy
for trial. Supplies, sent to stations at St. Helena and in
the West Indies, added desirable variety to the diets of
these garrisons. By 1818 considerable amounts of canned
meats, vegetable combinations, and soups were being sup-
plied to the Admiralty. The term "bully beef" is said to
come from sailors' efforts to pronounce "soup and bouilli,"
a popular canned food of those days.
"Tinned foods" steadily gained acceptance, not only
among soldiers and sailors, but also among civilians.
Canned foods were tried in the Arctic with success in
1815 by Otto von Kotzebue, a Russian explorer, and in
1819 by Captain Edward Parry, who reported that they
provided great nourishment in small bulk. Out of Parry's
expeditions to the Northwest Passage has come evidence
of the excellence of these foods. A four-pound tin of roast
veal, part of the stores taken to the Arctic in 1824 and
1826, is in a London museum. Two tins the explorer left
in the Arctic were recovered, opened and eaten in England
in 1911. One was pea soup, the other beef. These foods,
preserved intact for 87 years, were found in good condition.

Canning Launched in America
William Underwood arrived in America from England
in 1817 determined to establish food canning in this coun-
try. His efforts met only with rebuffs, and from New Orleans,
where he had landed, he decided to strike north. Without
funds, he walked the entire distance to Boston, endeavor-
ing en route to interest people in his project, but without
success. Finally, in Boston, after two years in America,


Department of Agriculture

he was able to establish a small canning plant where he
packed fruits, pickles, and condiments in bottles, most of
which were sold in South America and the Far East. Au-
thorities are not in full agreement as to which operation
was first, but there is record of the packing of salmon,
lobsters, and oysters in New York by Thomas Kensett and
Ezra Daggett in 1819. Kensett was granted the first Amer-
ican patent on the tin container in 1825. American book-
keepers began to abbreviate "canister" to "can," and a new
and important noun was born. The word "canning" came
to be the designation for the operation of sterilizing food
by heat and sealing it in airtight containers, regardless of
whether the container was tin or glass, or whether the food
was being prepared commercially or in the home.
In 1839 Isaac Winslow began a series of attempts to cook
corn in a crude steam cooker at his home in Maine. Between
1840 and 1850 salmon and lobster were canned in Maine
and New Brunswick, oysters were packed in Baltimore, and
tomatoes were canned commercially by Crosby in Pennsyl-
During the next decade, 1850 to 1860, commercial can-
neries were started in New York, Maryland, and Delaware.
Gail Borden became one of mankind's greatest benefactors
through his development of a process for condensing milk
and sealing it hermetically. He built the first canned milk
factory in this country in 1856.

A technical advance was achieved by canners in 1861,
on the threshold of the War Between the States, when they
began to add calcium chloride to the water in which the
closed cans were cooked. This method achieved higher
temperatures and consequent shorter periods of processing.
Production volume was measurably increased.

The real expansion of the canning industry in the United

Commercial Canning in Florida

States actually began in that decade. Processing plants for
fruits and vegetables sprang up in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
and California. Winslow finally was successful in his efforts
to can corn, and in 1862 was granted his patent. Pacific
Coast salmon were first canned on the Sacramento River
in 1864 and on the Columbia River in 1866.

The War Between the States gave many people their
first taste of canned foods, although the more adventurous
had become familiar with their use on numerous westward
migrations as the country was being settled. At the be-
ginning of the war the federal government commandeered
practically all the available canned foods for its armies in
the field. Soldiers ate them in their bivouacs, sailors on
the gunboats, and the wounded in hospitals. Acceptance
of canned foods was increased as veterans returned to their
homes. At the close of the war, canners had increased their
output sixfold.

One of the great developments which helped the growth
of the industry was the invention of the retort, or pressure
cooker, by A. K. Shriver of Baltimore in 1874. This enabled
canners to control temperatures accurately while cooking
the sealed cans. In fact, the half-century immediately fol-
lowing the war was characterized by numerous mechanical
developments and inventions, each of which helped put
canning on a progressive automatic mass production basis.
For salmon canning an automatic device was perfected to
clean and trim the fish; for corn, special machines to husk
the ears, free them of cornsilk, and cut kernels off the cob;
for tomatoes, machinery to wash, scald, peel, and fill them
into cans; for peas, devices that remove the entire peavine
from the ground and shell the peas without picking pods.
There were refinements in the speed and accuracy of ma-
chines to fill the various foods into cans and ingenious con-


Department of Agriculture

veyors to move the raw food, cans, and other supplies from
stage to stage of the processing line.
Naturally, the industry continued to expand. Canning
plants were started in new areas, and new products were
added to the canned food lists. Vegetable canneries ap-
peared in Iowa between 1870 and 1880. Meats were canned
in Chicago in 1872; shrimp in New Orleans in 1875 and
canned sardine production began in Maine the next year.
In 1878, a salmon cannery was built in Alaska, peas were
first canned in Wisconsin in 1881. The first pineapple can-
nery was built in Hawaii in 1892, although pineapple was
among the foods Appert had packed successfully. Soup had
been among the products canned by the English pioneers,
Donkin and Hall. Condensed soups were added to the
canned product list in the United States in 1897. The num-
ber of establishments increased from less than 100 in 1870
to 1,800 in 1900.

Another important technological development that did
much to expand canned goods production was the inven-
tion of what was called the sanitary can, about 1900, which
in less than two decades practically replaced all former
types of food cans in commercial use. This was the open-
top cylindrical can, into which canners could fill larger
pieces of food, with no damage to the food particles such
as had been experienced with the "hole and cap" can which
it outmoded. Such containers had been supplied to canners
together with caps, in the center of which was a small hole
or vent. Food was placed in the can and the cap sealed on
by a special soldering iron. The vent hole was then closed
or tipped with a soldering iron and the can of food was
processed. Another type of can was an open-top container,
the cover of which was hand-soldered on after filling. The
new sanitary can was so made that the lid could be crimped

Commercial Canning in Florida

on by machine. The solder once used to seal cap holes no
longer came in contact with the food.

The 20th century witnessed a continuation of canning in-
dustry expansion and of further development of automatic
equipment and machinery. Automatic machinery was used
to pit cherries, to peel, halve, quarter, slice, and core apples
and other fruits, and to snip off ends of beans. The industry
trended toward a scientific basis and from laboratory re-
search came important scientific findings that resulted in
safe times and temperatures for processing. Leaders of the
canning industry helped to establish the Food and Drugs
Act of 1906. Research was applied to the growing and
control of the raw products of the farm and orchard, with
the result that many strains of fruits and vegetables par-
ticularly suitable for canning were introduced.

During World War I, an enormous amount of canned
foods was consumed by our Armies. Soon after we entered
the conflict, the War Department bought up 75 percent of
all available canned salmon, 40 percent of the tomatoes,
and other foods in quantity. Needs of the armed forces
were such that canners were ordered to set aside and re-
serve varying percentages of each year's production for first
call by the Army and the Navy.

In peacetime, between the two wars the industry con-
tinued its awareness of the changing needs of the home-
maker and tried to keep pace with modern requirements
throughout introduction of new canned food products. By
1921 canned citrus juice and grapefruit segments were being
shipped out of Florida. In 1924 tomato juice was being
marketed in Indiana. Other fruit and vegetable juices found
immediate favor and grew to become volume packs. Canned
baby foods also were introduced in the early 1920's. The
rapid development of these three items canned citrus,

Department of Agriculture

baby foods and juices was a notable reflection of the grow-
ing public acceptance of canned foods.
World War II accentuated their essentiality, the govern-
ment granting priorities for scarce metals to maintain canned
foods production at peak. Two-thirds of the food supply
used by the fighting forces of America and its allies came
to them in cans. The seizure by the Japanese of the im-
portant tin sources in Malaya brought about a critical con-
servation of tin and led to new packaging practices. Glass
containers, always in use for certain preserved foods, helped
relieve the demand on tin.
In the postwar period, it was found that the public would
consume the full production capacity of the industry, and
record annual packs have been made. Professional people
recognize and authorize the essential part of canned foods
in the healthful diet.
Since the days of the rude experiments by Appert and
Durand nearly 150 years ago, canning has been brought to
such a high point of efficiency, through the genius of Amer-
ican inventors, scientists, and businessmen, that civilized
progress could not exist without it. Canning has made pos-
sible the wonders of scientific explorations, of colonization,
it has proven a priceless boon to the housewife, it has fur-
nished profitable outlets for the products of the farm, the
orchard and the sea, and it has reduced food costs for the
average family, has placed choice, nutritious and whole-
some foods within the reach of all, producing for America,
in particular, the highest of living standards.


Commercial Canning in Florida

(Source: National Canners Association)
Commercial canning converts a highly perishable crop
into nonperishable form, permitting transportation and
storage without loss, and thus creating a supply of whole-
some and nutritious foods, available to consumers in cans
and glass containers at any time of the year.
The canning industry is not only an important source
of food for consumers. It also provides thousands of farmers
with an indispensable market for an appreciable part of
their production of perishable fruits and vegetables and is
an important marketing outlet for fishermen and producers
of livestock and poultry. And, together with its allied in-
dustries the manufacture of canning machinery, contain-
ers, labels, and cartons, and the distributive trades the
canning industry provides employment for many thousands
of people.
A large part of the farmer's fruit and vegetable crop is
marketed through the canning industry. Approximately
half of the U. S. acreage producing vegetable crops and one-
fifth of the fruit production is used for processing. Canners
pay farmers and growers about $1.5 billion annually for
fresh foods for canning.
About four-fifths of all tomatoes harvested in the U. S.
are canned; about three-fourths of the beets; two-thirds of
the green peas; and more than half of the sweet corn.
In the 1958-59 season, 95 percent of all citrus products
canned in the nation was produced in Florida. Eighty per-
cent of all oranges and 50 percent of the grapefruit produced
by Florida growers went into cans within the State. From
a modest production of 10,000 cases of grapefruit sections,
which formed the initial product of the Florida citrus can-
ning industry in 1921-22, the State canners put up more

Department of Agriculture

than 33,505,000 cases in 1958-59. Citrus products are now
standard items on the shelves of food merchants everywhere,
from super markets in cities to crossroads stores in the
The canning industry also provides an important market
for perishable fruits. About half of all peaches, pears, apri-
cots, cranberries, and sour cherries are canned. In the
Appalachian area where apple canning was pioneered, al-
most half of the apple crop is canned.
A very large proportion of the total catch of certain fish
are canned-99 percent of the tuna, 90 percent of the sar-
dines, and 85 percent of the salmon.
The canning industry sponsors and encourages agricul-
tural research in plant science and in agricultural engineer-
ing and economics. Canners have contributed directly to
the development of new and improved strains of fresh foods
and to the development of modern agricultural machinery.
Many canners through their own agricultural research pro-
grams and their field men furnish their growers the best
obtainable advice on horticultural practices, improved va-
rieties, fertilizers, machinery, production economics and
other direct aids to production.
The contributions of the canning industry in this field
benefit both the consumer and the whole of agriculture, by
helping to achieve low-cost and efficient production of the
high quality foods the modern consumer demands.
By converting the farmer's perishable crops into non-
perishable form, the canning industry has eliminated the
waste that would otherwise result from seasonal gluts, and
has made available to the consumer the year around these
perishable crops. In so doing, canning has stabilized the price
which producers would otherwise receive for their perish-
able crops, has stimulated the demand and broadened the
market for the seasonal fruits and vegetables, and has helped

Commercial Canning in Florida

producers of canning crops to achieve greater economic
Canning today is a multi-million dollar industry, widely
distributed throughout the United States and its territories,
and producing a wide variety of canned fruits, vegetables,
juices, soups, meat, poultry, fish and sea food, milk, and
formulated products, in both cans and glass containers.
The canning industry comprises about 2,500 canneries,
operated by about 1,800 separate companies. Food canning
plants are located in 49 of the 50 states (Nevada is the ex-
ception) as well as Puerto Rico and other U. S. possessions.
Workers in the nation's canning plants receive wages and
salaries which total more than $500 million a year. Total
employment during the peak season is about 350,000 persons.
Thousands of others are employed in the many related in-
dustries-such as container and equipment manufacturing,
retail and wholesale food distribution, and transportation.
Thousands of workers are employed the year around in
packing the nonseasonal products. Many others in the can-
ning communities are employed at the peak of the seasonal
harvest when perishable fruits, vegetables and other prod-
ucts are being canned in volume. At such times many per-
sons in canning communities are able to add to their own
and their families' cash income by working in processing
The food canning industry is one of the most highly me-
chanized of all American industries. It was one of the first
industries to utilize automation on a large scale and today
is one of the most efficient producers in American industry.
Productivity per man-hour of labor in the canning industry
has increased since 1947 about 60 per cent compared with
an average increase of about 35 percent during the same
period for all manufacturing industries.

Department of Agriculture

This constantly improving efficiency of production has
been an important factor in stabilizing the price of canned
Production of canned foods has increased 16-fold in the
last 50 years, an indisputable indication of consumer ac-
ceptance of this form of food. The annual production of
the canning industry now amounts to more than 22 billion
pounds, representing about 9 percent of the nation's food
supply. This is packed in 700 million cases containing more
than 22 billion tin and glass containers having a retail value
of about $4.7 billion.
The canning industry is the nation's third largest user of
America's steel output. The quantity of steel used by the can-
ning industry for cans, machinery and other equipment is
exceeded only by the totals for the automobile industry and
the construction industry.
Canners customarily measure their output by the case,
which may contain as few as six large cans or as many as
96 small cans, or their equivalent in glass. Annual production
of the canning industry from 1870 is shown in the following
Annual Packs of Canned Fruits and Vegetables,
(in millions of cases)

Canned Canned
Year Vegetablesa Year Vegetablesa
1870 -- 4 1927 103 37
1880 12 1929 139 42
1889 20 1930 129 48
1899 ----19 5 1931 -- 111 41
1904 29 5 1932 84 38
1909 36 6 1933 --- 108 43
1914 55 12 1934 115 45
1919 --- 66 24 1935 -- 172 58
1921 45 18 1936 -- 177 65
1923 90 26 1937 --_ 206 78
1925 122 35
a Includes canned vegetable juices, soups, baby foods, and specialties.
b Includes canned fruit juices.

Commercial Canning in Florida

The canned fruit and vegetable products represented in
the preceding table include the products in the first four
columns of the following table:

Production of Various Canned Foods,
(in millions of standard cases)

a) 0 08 1 a)
Year d m cZ '
1988 40 39 122 67 49 17
1989 -- 52 43 108 74 51 19
1940 -- 49 55 133 79 58 19
1941 62 59 163 92 77 23
1942 59 73 194 54 88 18
1943 -- 47 79 179 53 78 17
1944 57 95 170 69 82 18
1945 52 111 177 83 90 19
1946 83 105 201 102 74 21
1947 68 98 166 104 77 22
1948 66 94 158 111 81 24
1949 71 91 164 112 66 26
1950 -- 77 109 166 118 68 30
1951 883 104 209 118 67 25
1952 77 109 194 120 66 26
1953 80 114 189 127 60 26
1954 83 99 183 125 59 28
1955 --- 92 99 197 128 60 26
1956 -- 99 123 285 180 59 31
1957 --- 91 104 209 132 58 31
1958 ------105 110 210 185 54 33
Excluding meat soups and canned poultry.

(31 ES
7 841
9 356
12 405
20 496
43 524
46 494
48 534
43 575
30 616
24 559
24 558
28 553
27 590
33 639
30 622
32 628
32 609
33 685
88 715
37 662
37 684

Canned foods enjoy popular acceptance in virtually every
U. S. home and in the institutional field, which includes
restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other mass feeding estab-
lishments. During each day on the average, Americans open
and use approximately 100 million containers (tin and glass)
of canned food products of all kinds.
The United States is the number one producer of canned
foods, accounting for about three-fourths of total world


Department of Agriculture

production, and more canned foods are consumed in the
U. S. than in any other country. American canned foods
have become well known in most countries around the world.

Canned foods have been described as the first of the so-
called "prepackaged" foods and are high in the convenience
factors which are sometimes called "built-in-maid service."
Their use has freed the homemaker and the cook from
countless hours of kitchen labor. Another of their principal
conveniences, often overlooked, is to make available the
year around a great variety of food in nutritious form that
would not otherwise be obtainable.
Among other factors which have been important in build-
ing the popularity of canned foods are the continual de-
velopment of new products and constant attention to quality
control, to achieve uniform quality, an important attribute
of canned foods.
Another attribute of canned foods that is important to
the consumer is their relatively stable price. The U. S. Bu-
reau of Labor Statistics' consumer price index reveals that
canned foods have been consistently in the "best buy" group
of all food products. Immediately after World War II when
prices of almost all food products were rising sharply, the
retail price of canned foods remained relatively stable,
despite rising costs of labor and machinery, and other sup-
plies. Because of year-to-year improvements in production
efficiency, the price of food in canned form has often been
less than the same commodity in non-canned form. The
average weekly wage today will buy more than twice the
quantity of canned food that could be bought with the
average weekly wage during the period 1935-39 and 40
percent more than could be purchased during 1947-49.
Rural families have become important buyers of canned

Commercial Canning in Florida

foods. Some canned products are used by a higher propor-
tion of rural families than by city families. As a general rule,
canned foods are most popular with younger families. Thus,
not only does the total consumption of canned foods in-
crease with population but the quantity used per person has
also been increasing steadily over the years.
The canning industry today looks on scientific research
as a normal and necessary feature of its existence. The
industry looks to the National Canners Association, for in-
stance, for more and more information on processing, pre-
vention of spoilage, disposal of factory waste, quality con-
trol, and a multitude of other subjects. It expects container
manufacturers to keep up research on improvement of
containers. And it has an insatiable appetite for the results
of agricultural research, one of the largest fields of all,
which yields information on the best varieties of raw
products, growing and harvesting practices, and control of
plant diseases and pests.
Many of the improvements in canning methods that have
come into use appear at first glance to be merely engineer-
ing developments, yet they have usually been made possible
only by previous research. In late years there has been
increasing use of high temperature-short time sterilizing
methods, agitating cooks, and even "aseptic" canning, a
process in which the product is sterilized and cooled out-
side the can, then filled and closed in sterilized containers.
Successful development of such methods requires the use
of information gained in the laboratory on the amounts
of heat required for destruction of bacteria.
Research workers in the canning industry are not con-
tent merely to explore the principles of a method that
has been used for over 150 years, but are alert for new
developments no matter how radical they may appear at


Department of Agriculture

A great deal of research has been done on "cold steriliza-
tion" which is preservation of food by ionizing radiations,
such as those produced by atomic fission products or by
electronic accelerators. The degree of promise shown by
this method varies widely between different foods, and
divergent opinions are held both to its ultimate usefulness
and the time that may elapse before commercial application
is possible.

Fruits and vegetables for canning are specially selected
high quality crops, harvested at just the right stage of
maturity for most satisfying eating, and canned immediately
so as to preserve their flavor and appearance.

Because high quality in the raw product used in canning
is essential to the production of high quality canned foods,
canners have long been concerned with production of
canning crops. They have sought not only to bring about
constant improvement in the excellence of crops grown
for canning but also to produce canning crops at the lowest
possible cost.

Canners work closely with canning crop producers, giving
advice and assistance in applying the most effective culti-
vation practices and in utilizing the most modern harvest-
ing practices. Many canners employ specialists in such
work, known as "field men," on their permanent staffs.

Canners and their field men also work very closely with
representatives of the state agricultural experiment stations
and the state agricultural extension services in informing
farmers of the most up-to-date research findings. Often
canners and state agricultural scientists jointly sponsor edu-
cational meetings and schools at which canners and their
field men and the canning crop producers are advised on
new developments. Through the canners' field men, the

Commercial Canning in Florida

effectiveness of the research worker and the extension
worker in agriculture is greatly augmented, and the pro-
ducer of canning crops is greatly aided in his application
of newly developed principles.

Through their cooperative efforts, canners, farmers, and
agricultural scientists have not only increased yields of
canning crops and reduced unit production costs but have
also brought about improvement in the flavor and appear-
of fruits and vegetables delivered to consumers in canned

This cooperative research of canners, farmers and agri-
cultural scientists also has produced new types and strains
of crops possessing characteristics not necessarily discern-
ible to consumers but which nevertheless enable farmers
to grow larger and healthier crops. It has led to new
knowledge of cultivation and harvesting practices that have
contributed to lower-cost production of canned foods.

All of the services performed for farmers and growers
by canners have the effect of enabling the canner to im-
prove his quality, to increase the volume of his production,
and to lower prices and result in an ultimate advantage to
the consumer.

Although the term "Canning" has generally been applied
to the process of preserving foods in cans, the industry
itself packs its products in both tin cans and glass containers.

In the earliest days of tin can making, even an expert
hand-worker could make only about 10 cans a day and as
skill and method improved, experts could turn out about
60 cans a day. This may be compared with the output of
one assembly line in a modern can-making factory, which
can produce about 1,000 cans a minute. One of the world's
largest can-manufacturing plants in Chicago has turned

Department of Agriculture

out over a billion cans in one year and has made as many
as 10,000,000 cans in a single day.

At first glass jars were not suitable for packing most
canned foods. They were expensive and because of their
weight and fragility, had to be handled with special care.
However, industrial know-how has come up with a glass
of lighter weight and greater qualities of durability and
tensile strength. The use of glass containers was greatly
expanded during World War II, when the United States was
unable to receive shipments of tin from Asia. Of necessity,
canners began packing in glass the colorful and attractive
foods that would have a good appearance. When these

Scene in a can manufacturing plant in Florida where millions of cans
are produced yearly for the canning trade. This machine
tests the cans for leaks.

Commercial Canning in Florida

foods were accepted by consumers, canners began to pack
an increasing number and variety of foods in glass.
From the time fresh foods are delivered at the cannery
door until they have been finally canned and packaged
for delivery to grocers, there are specialized machinery and
equipment devices to perform almost every task.
During a seasonal harvest of perishable fruits and vege-
tables, foods for processing are delivered to the cannery
in a seemingly unending stream, at just the proper maturity
to be eaten. The mechanization of the "canning line" has
made it possible to complete the canning process quickly
and efficiently, without loss of quality and without damage
to even the most tender fruits and vegetables.
The canning industry has grown to its present importance,
by achieving volume production of high quality foods,
through the development and use of the many types of
ingenious machinery and equipment.
Scientific developments and their application to industry
have provided means of evaluating and controlling various
steps in the canning procedure.
One of the first and most important steps in commercial
canning is the thorough cleaning of raw food material im-
mediately on its receipt at the cannery. The methods of
cleaning vary, of course, with the nature of the food, but
all of the foods are freed of foreign or undesirable material
which may be attached, and are carefully inspected and
trimmed free of imperfections and faults.
After being thoroughly cleaned, as expertly as is possible
in the family kitchen, the raw foods are prepared for can-
They are first sorted for size and maturity. Sorting for
size is done by a series of moving screens with different
mesh sizes, or by passing the raw foods over differently

Department of Agriculture

spaced rollers. Separation into groups according to degree
of ripeness or perfection of shape is done by hand.
In each of these steps the raw food is continuously under
inspection, but a final inspection is made, by experienced
persons, to pick out mashed or broken pieces, pieces of
food that are off-color, and any foreign matter which may
have passed the cleaning, washing, and trimming opera-

Some foods then are immersed in hot water or exposed
to live steam in an operation known as the "Blanch."

Blanching of vegetables and some fruits serves to expel
air and gases, to inactivate enzymes and thus arrest changes
in flavor, and to wilt products (such as spinach) so that
more may be filled into the container.
After necessary preparatory steps, the raw foods are ready
to be filled into cans or glass containers. The containers,
meanwhile, have been conveyed by automatic runways to
steam washers and thence to the point of filling.
Filling is done by machine whenever the nature of the
product permits, as with peas, corn, juices, soups, etc. Foods
canned in larger pieces, such as peaches, pears, grapefruit
sections, and salmon, usually are filled into containers by
hand. The container always is filled as completely as possible
with the solids of the product, and packing medium juice,
salted and/or sweetened water, or sugar syrup may be
added, according to the product and style of pack.
The next process is ensuring vacuum in containers. The
object here is to remove air and gas so that pressure inside
the container following the process and cooling will be
less than atmospheric. The vacuum helps keep can ends
drawn in an index of a sound package, reduces strain
on containers, minimizes discoloration or flavor effects, pro-

Commercial Canning in Florida

longs shelf life of some products, prevents bulging at high
altitudes or high temperatures, and keeps lid on glass con-
tainers during processing.
The lid is permanently sealed on the filled containers by
a closing machine.
In sealing lids on metal cans, a double seam is created
by interlocking the curl of the lid and flange of the can.
Many closing machines are equipped to create vacuum in
the headspace either mechanically or by steam-flow, before
lids are sealed.
The heat treatment to which foods are subjected after
hermetic sealing in containers is called the "process." Dur-
ing the process, micro-organisms which would cause spoil-
age if their action were not stopped are destroyed by heat.
The degree of heat depends upon the item being canned.
After the "process," containers are cooled to prevent
overcooking. This usually is done either by conveying the
containers from the cooker to a tank of cold water or by
placing them under a cold water spray. Some products
in the larger sized cans are partially cooled in water and
are then further air-cooled.

After cooking and cooling, containers are ready for label-
ing. Labeling machines apply glue and labels in one high-
speed operation. The labeled cans are conveyed to devices
which pack them into shipping cartons. The canned foods
then are ready to be shipped to market.
Under normal marketing conditions, stocks of canned
goods packed during any one year begin to move into the
channels of distribution by the first of the next calendar
year, and canners are ready at that time to plan their pro-
duction for the approaching packing season.
The complete job of distribution- that is, bringing the

Department of Agriculture

product from the processor to the consumer where and
when and in the quantity she wants usually is effected
by several different agencies, each having a separate func-
tion to perform. The complete job involves warehousing
of goods after processing, financing of the product while
in course of distribution, selling, transportation from point
of production to point of consumption, breaking down large
units of goods into smaller lots, advertising, and sales pro-
The services of distribution, which are essential in bring-
ing the product to the consumer, cost money, regardless of
the agency by which they are performed. There may be
short cuts devised that eliminate one or more of the agencies
that perform the services, but there is no short cut that
eliminates the service itself. The canned foods consumer
frequently fails to realize that the price paid for the product
as it comes to her must include not only the cost of making
the product, but also the cost of bringing the product to
her where she wants it, when she wants it, and in the
quantity she wants.
United States-produced canned foods are consumed in
many countries in all parts of the world. They are of par-
ticular value in supplying food to people whose home soil
produces few or no supplies of certain food products.
Canned foods are valuable abroad, as in the United States,
because of their year-round availability.
Consumer satisfaction with canned foods is based on
the dependability and continued availability of these prod-
ucts. Week after week and year after year the housewife
goes to the store knowing that there she will find a com-
plete assortment of canned foods of unquestioned purity,
wholesomeness, and palatability.
Years of experience have taught the canners how to

Commercial Canning Florida

provide for the housewife just the kind of canned foods
she wants. Each year some new kinds of canned foods
are added to the list, so that at all times she has a wide
assortment of fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, soups, baby
foods, and specialties to make it easy for her to provide
the family with a pleasing variety of carefully prepared
foods. More than 1,000 different canned foods and combina-
tions are packed.
All of the different kinds of food are available to the
housewife all year around. Each season of the year may
suggest to her certain types of canned foods to serve, but
they are all available to be served at any time.

The label is an excellent aid to buying. The Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that the label state
the name of the manufacturer or distributor of the product,
and that the contents of the container be stated in terms
of net weight or volume.
An important part of the nation's supply of nutrients is
derived from fruits and vegetables, only a few of which
are available in any given locality and then only for a
few weeks of the year. Canned focds afford a plentiful
supply of these vitamin-rich materials and permit a com-
plete and varied diet on a year-round basis, unrestricted
by social, economic, or geographic conditions.
It is without doubt a great accomplishment to make
available the world over a safe, attractive, reasonably stable,
low-cost supply of foods in great variety. But it is a more
difficult and even more valuable contribution to furnish
foods that meet the body's requirements for health. Leaders
in the canning industry have brought modern progress in
the science of nutrition to the consumer's dinner table.


Department of Agriculture

The United States, with its vast food resources, leads
the world in canning. The pack of all foods reported by
the National Canners Association for 1959 aggregated
684,000,000 cases, which included vegetables, fruits, fruit
juices, specialities, milk, fish, and meat. Canned vegetables
leads the list, followed by specialities which includes
jellies, preserves, etc. while juices and fruits follow.
The United States pack in 1959, according to NCA
records, was as follows:

Vegetables .................... .210,000,000 cases
Specialties .................... 135,000,000 cases
Juices .. .......................110,000,000 cases
Fruits ........... .......... 105,000,000 cases
Milk ............................ 54,000,000 cases
Meat ............. .......... 37,000,000 cases
Fish ....................... ... 33,000,000 cases

Total ........... .......... 684,000,000 cases
Florida's part in the canning picture in 1959 amounted
to nearly 40,000,000 with the following approximated break-
down: (basis 24/2):
Citrus ....................... 33,504,409 cases
Vegetables .......... ............ 3,319,500
Fruits (other than citrus) ............ 14,800 *
Jams and Jellies ................... 1,500,000 *
Seafood .......................... 400,000
Seafood Specialties ................ 5,100
Soups ............................ 23,700
M eats ............................ 500,000
Meat Combinations ................. 15,000
Prepared Foods ................... 5,600
Miscellaneous .................. 500,000

Total ........................ 39,788,109 cases
Does not include bulk shipments.
** Does not include honey or syrups.
"* Includes whips, rattlesnake, olives, baby foods, etc.

Commercial Canning in Florida

In 1940, the total pack of the entire country amounted to
375,802,000 cases, with Florida's share totaling 20,275,261.
As can be seen from the above figures, both the nation and
the State have progressed in the canning industry.
The extent of the canning industry in Florida is presented
herewith in considerable detail, as to separate packs and
the industry as a whole, with facts and figures from many
sources, including Federal Government and State Bureau
publications, market reports, trade associations, chambers
of commerce, universities, county agents, canners, and grow-

Florida's vast citrus acreage furnishes largest canned pack in state.

Department of Agriculture

ers. Statistics, however, do not include individual cannery
figures. For the present purpose the term canning applies
to all types of preserved foods, except dried and frozen, re-
gardless of the type of container.
Florida's major canned commodity is of course citrus
and citrus juices, which totaled 33,504,409 cases during 1959.
On a lesser scale Florida canned products include such
vegetables as tomatoes, beans, collards, corn, peas, beets,
and potatoes; seafoods such as shrimp, oysters, crabmeat,
and clam broth; nut butters and nut meats; and a score of
tropical preserves, jams and jellies, utilizing guavas, mangos,
kumquats, papayas and other rare exotic fruits. Even the
Florida rattlesnake has a market as a food, after being
skinned, dressed, cooked, and canned. These various items,
however, are incidental to the main business of citrus can-

Seafood First Commercially Canned
Although Denys Rolle, the English founder of Rolles-
town on the St. Johns River, claimed in a suit to recover
damages after the British abandoned Florida in 1783, that
"in good years he produced a thousand gallons of orange
juice for export," Florida's earliest attempts at commercially
preserving foodstuffs for out-of-state markets actually began
with the canning of seafoods nearly a century later. First
experiments along this line were conducted at Fernandina
in 1856 with oysters, but the Florida variety refused to
retain its gastronomic virtues in tin, even though Thomas
H. Kensett, joint holder of that first canmaking patent, had
demonstrated to the contrary fifteen years before for the
Pittsburgh market.
Other efforts followed the Fernandina failure, but a suc-
cessful attempt was not achieved until 1888 (some authori-
ties say 1884), when Ruge Brothers opened an oyster can-

Commercial Canning in Florida

nery in Apalachicola. This plant had the stimulating effect
of launching others westward along the Gulf Coast and
oyster canning so prospered for a time in that territory that
Biloxi, Mississippi, took the lead away from Baltimore, and
Mississippi canned more oysters than all the rest of the
states put together.
The first shrimp cannery was also established in Apa-
lachicola in 1912; shortly afterwards a clam plant began
operations at Marco; now Collier City; a turtle cannery at
Key West and still more recently, a coquina cannery at
Fort Myers.
Vegetable canning began on a modest scale between the
establishment of the seafood industry and the introduction
of citrus canning. Florida, however, as a source of enor-
mous quantities of fresh winter vegetables, has had little
interest in entering the canned vegetable field. In 1916
Charles E. Langley exhibited samples of canned tomatoes
and other vegetables at the Florida State Fair in Tampa
but these represented only by-products along the way in
Langley's search for methods of successfully preserving
citrus fruits. Not, in fact, until after World War I was
an effort made to can vegetables even on an insignificant
scale, and this has been overshadowed completely by the
citrus canning industry.

Millions in Value Added by Canning
Raw materials represent the largest single item of cost
in the Florida Pack. Next comes wage earners, then mis-
cellaneous packing materials, fuels and other items. The
U. S. Bureau of the Census reports that in 1939 raw material
and labor combined to add $5,920,729 to the value of
Florida's crops through preserving, and that nearly 5,000
workers earned more than $2,500,000. In 1954 there were
more than 16,885 employees engaged in the canning indus-

Department of Agriculture

try, earning $30,178,292.36 in wages and salaries and give a
value added figure of more than $75,000,000 to the raw
materials. The latest information (1959) indicates the value
added figure at more than $130,000,000.
Additional figures show that in 1939, according to the
Florida Industrial Commission, there was a monthly aver-
age of 4,079 employees in the food canning industry in
Florida, with a total payroll of $2,489,055.22. The Com-
mission's figures for 1940 show a monthly average of 4,085
employees and a total payroll of $2,736,864.15. In 1954
there was an average of 9,800 employees in citrus canning
earning a total of $29,200,900.46, while employees in vege-
table canning averaged 544 each month and were paid
$977,391.90 during that year. The latest figures show an
average of 13,800 employees in canning and preserving,
with a high of 19,200 in December and a low of 7,000 in
August with a total payroll of $43,083,404. (1959)


Commercial Canning in Florida

Long before the freeze of 1895 which almost completely
annihilated citrus from Florida, growers referred to the
large number of misshapen, off-color, and otherwise unde-
sirable appearing fruit of excellent internal qualities going
to waste. Many writings at that time refer to attempts on
the part of growers to find outlets for these off-grade fruits.
Wine, marmalade, preserves, sweet meats, and jellies are
specific examples of commodities made during that time.
Little reference is made to culls from 1895 until about
1907 when California and some of the citrus producing areas
of Europe began experimentation on the processing of
citrus juices. About that time surplus production began
existing in Florida, and many growers banded together to
try and find outlets for the extra fruits.
During this surplus period, the Florida Citrus Exchange
was organized and this group became the first active Florida
organization to take an active and financial interest in this
In 1911, The Florida Citrus Exchange financed a fellow-
ship for Alex McDermott at the Mellon Institute of Pitts-
burgh and the following conclusions were recorded from
his research:

That it was possible to preserve the juice by pasteuri-
zation, that the juice may be concentrated to about 20
percent of its original volume by vacuum distillation, that
a flavoring oil may be processed from the oranges and
grapefruits, that the juice of decayed citrus could be made
into alcohol, the citric acid may be produced from waste
juice and that the pulp may be processed for a stock feed.
The commercial canning of citrus fruits in Florida did

Department of Agriculture

not succeed until 1920, when the first successful output was
marketed, after a series of failures dating back to 1914.
Success was achieved simultaneously by men working in-
dependently in different sections of the citrus belt both in
Florida and Puerto Rico. Through early hardships, losses
and difficulties, by the trial and error method, each evolved
a canned product that retained characteristics of the fresh
fruit and would not spoil. Techniques were thereafter grad-
ually improved, and similar efforts made by others, but
skeptics still asserted that commercial preserving of citrus
was impossible because of the citric acid, except perhaps

Technicians checking quality of citrus juices.

Commercial Canning in Florida

in bottles, which was too expensive. One of the pioneers
was, in fact, refused a carload of cans by a manufacturer on
the ground that they would surely be eaten up by citric acid.
First attempts to can Florida citrus fruits commercially
were made by Northern business men who had settled in
Polk County where apparent waste greeted them on every
hand. The sight of wind-fallen but perfectly sound fruit
turning the ground yellow in the groves, and more golden
mounds of it discarded at the packing houses because it
failed to meet certain standards shocked them into demand-
ing, "Why don't you can it?" The answer was always the
same, "Citric acid would eat up the tin and glass is too ex-

One of these men, Charles E. Langley, a successful artist
and designer of stained glass windows, not satisfied with
this universal answer, set to work experimenting, with the
help of his wife, at home. As a result of their kitchen tests,
Langley was convinced that grapefruit could be successfully
canned as a commercial undertaking and in 1914 organized
the Dixie Canning and Preserving Company, capitalized at
$50,000. He built a small plant at Auburndale and event-
ually shipped a carload of canned grapefruit to Chicago.
He had removed only the outside rind and then cut the
fruit into cubes instead of separating the segments, thus
impairing its natural pleasant taste with the bitter flavor of
the rind. This product met with instant disfavor and Lang-
ley, already discouraged over legal difficulties concerning
his plant, finally retired from the canning business with a
loss of $30,000, and went back to his art.

A contemporary of Langley was Howard L. Collins, one
of the first pioneers to receive returns from his experiment.
Collins had retired as head of a printing company in St. Paul
which printed about a million dollars worth of highly colored


Department of Agriculture

and alluring labels annually for canners. Collins, perhaps
a convert of his own printing artistry, headed a small com-
pany at Lakeland that bottled carbonated grapefruit juice
for local consumption, and later for Northern markets. Mean-
while he devoted his profits to canning experiments, con-
vinced that therein lay a profitable outlet for excess citrus
fruit production. For several years his experimental losses
were considerable, but finally he hit on a vacuum process
for preserving grapefruit in tin. It was Collins who had
been turned down by the manufacturers when he ordered
a carload of cans for this purpose. Even they shared the

l-w; ..


I ,

Unloading citrus at a canning plant.

Commercial Canning in Florida

belief that citric acid would corrode the metal containers,
but Collins finally persuaded them to make delivery, and so
the first natural-tasting citrus product grapefruit segments
- ever to be successfully preserved in tin came into being.
Collins installed machinery to process 500 boxes of fruit
daily, and by 1924 was shipping carloads of canned grape-
fruit of such dependable quality that Hill Brothers in New
York accepted it for marketing under their established
"Dromedary" brand. Then at the height of his success Col-
lins listened to a promoter and became a casualty of expan-
sion and a collapsed grapefruit market. In addition to being
persuaded to finance a new $200,000 plant his firm had
contracts for grapefruit seconds at from 30 to 50 cents a box
and was swamped with deliveries at these prices on a 15-
cent market. The result was receivership and financial ruin,
and Collins, after ten years of strenuous pioneering efforts,
salvaged a little money from the sale of his home and re-
entered the printing business.

A more successful operator was Ralph Polk, Sr., son of a
pioneer Indiana canner, who began bottling grapefruit juice
in Miami in 1920. His product, however, had a tendency to
turn amber colored and precipitate solids, and he, too, turned
to experiments in tin. As a result, Polk, in December 1921,
shipped the first carload of acceptable grapefruit segments
ever to come out of Florida. Two years later he was ship-
ping 100,000 cases from plants in Miami, Vero Beach, and
Haines City, but he had evidently crowded the market, for
the next season he was sacrificing a $90,000 stock for $12,000.
Nevertheless, Polk weathered all of the initial pitfalls and
the excitement that made citrus canning the prey of oppor-
tunists and professional promoters in those early days.

Pioneer among the pioneers, however, was Claude E.
Street, of Colorado, who first conceived the idea of bottling


Department of Agriculture

grapefruit juice as far back as 1910. Street used 5-gallon
demijohns. Later he tackled the job commercially at Avon
Park in 1914; the following year at Haines City in bottles;
and finally in 1921 at Bradenton where he abandoned glass
and produced the first known commercial pack of grapefruit
juice in tin. He too had trouble with the juice deteriorating
but he kept on trying, and Street, along with Polk, repre-
sented the only survivors of the original group who were
still connected with the industry in 1942.
Paradoxically it was finally discovered that tin offered a
better material for citrus fruit containers than glass, and
that the long sought secret of retaining the natural taste
indefinitely, without spoilage, was sterilization and vacuum

Fruit entering the cannery is washed.

Commercial Canning in Florida

By 1924 proven techniques, efficient means of pasteuri-
zation and vacuum-type machinery, had pretty well stand-
ardized quality, and as methods continued to improve and
the product became more palatable, others entered the busi-
ness, and the demand for canned grapefruit soon became
firmly established. Glass jars, bottles, and other types of
containers quickly disappeared in favor of tin.
Some firsts in the field of citrus canning in Florida follow:
First commercial concentration of citrus juice was by
C. E. Rogers Company in Eagle Lake Cannery in 1925.
The concentrate was rather good but dark in color.
First citrus juice to be put in tin in commercial quantities
was that distributed in summer of 1923 by the Eagle Lake
First commercial vacuum-sealing of canned grapefruit
was done in 1923-24 by the Thermokept Company at the
plant of the Southland Citrus Products Company in Lake-
First attempt to manufacture pectin from citrus was that
by Southern Packing Company at the Hills Brothers Can-
nery in Bartow in 1928.
Probably first commercial production of citrus essential
oils was by the By-Products and Sales Corporation, organized
in June 1929 in Tampa.
First commercial freezing of citrus juices was done by
the National Juice Corporation and by the Borden Company
in 1930-31. Both packaged the frozen juice in paper cartons.
About 1924 M. M. Slayton and Orville Hawkins produced
a hot citrus concentrate.
Frozen citrus concentrate was probably first produced in
Florida in an ice cream freezer by Dr. J. E. Crump at Winter
Haven in 1920. And the Birds-Eye group in 1943 was prob-

Department of Agriculture

-1k= -

........... : ..

Thousands of oranges roll their way into extractors for the first step
in making juice.

Close-up view of oranges entering FMC inline Juice extractor.

Commercial Canning in Florida

ably the first to market frozen citrus in commercial quanti-
The first citrus canning plant to be established in Florida
was located at Haines City in 1915.
There were a number of other firsts as claimed by many
citrus growers and experimenters here in the State but the
above seem to deserve most mention.
The actual commercial debut of canned Florida citrus
fruit took place in the season of 1920-21, with an initial pro-
duction of 10,000 cases of grapefruit segments. Seven years
later the canners were using 1 million boxes of grapefruit
and by 1928-29, when oranges were added, 1% million boxes.
The first commercial orange pack used 40,000 boxes, which
increased to 1,000,000 boxes by 1936-37, and to 4,000,000
by 1940-41. Still the orange pack used only about a third
as much fruit as the grapefruit pack which accounted for
13,888,368 boxes. Thus in a space of twenty years, citrus
fruit canning had become a large industry, utilizing 17J%
million boxes of all kinds of citrus fruit annually. In 1954-
55, this number of boxes of citrus fruit used in the citrus
canning industry, totaled 77,070,814 boxes, comprised of
60,666,091 boxes of oranges, 15,312,555 boxes of grapefruit
and 1,092,168 boxes of tangerines.
"It is doubtful that any technical or industrial develop-
ment has ever had more profound or far reaching effects
on a regional agricultural economy than the citrus canning
process and particularly the later advent of frozen con-
centrates-has had on Florida's citrus industry," says Dr.
H. G. Hamilton, head of the Department of Agricultural
Economics, University of Florida.

Florida Competition
Competition followed close on the heels of the establish-
ment of the citrus canning industry in Florida. Puerto Rico,

Department of Agriculture

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Commercial Canning in Florida

in fact, nearly beat Florida to the national markets, and the
California-Arizona area and Texas were not far behind.
Puerto Rico, from where some authorities claim Florida
imported its first grapefruit trees, was already a grapefruit
producing territory, and the other domestic areas had
extensive plantings. However, within the United States,
Florida in 1942 still retained a wide lead in the number of
fully matured grapefruit trees 16 or more years of age.
A shortage of ships in which to export its fresh citrus
fruit during the first World War practically forced Puerto
Rico into the canning business. Credit for bridging that
emergency belongs to two executives of the Spanish-Amer-
ican Fruit Company, A. W. Houck and Edward Rushmore,
who launched a series of experiments which finally produced
a marketable canned product. After more than two hundred
processing of grapefruit, Rushmore took samples to New
York in 1919 which were well received. On the strength of
this, machinery and equipment were shipped to the Island
to enlarge the experimental factory which at that time en-
gaged six girls, and so in 1920 grapefruit "hearts" were born.
Rushmore had beat Polk of Florida by one year, which the
Florida Canners Association later on readily acknowledged,
and in turn Rushmore graciously permitted the trade to use
the term "hearts" which he had first substituted for segments.
The Island industry nearly paralleled the Florida successes
in the 1920's, except in volume, but in 1923 and 1924 Puerto
Rico's segment pack, its principal output for seven years,
almost approached that of Florida. Canned grapefruit juice
was added much later. Government reports first show the
presence of Puerto Rican grapefruit juice on domestic mar-
kets in 1930, two years after Florida added juice to its
segment pack.
Segments imported from Puerto Rico in 1923, the first
year for which figures are available, amounted to 128,718.

Department of Agriculture

cases. This total increased to 413,842 cases in 1929, but by
1938 had dropped back to 108,359. Meanwhile canned
grapefruit juice imports mounted from 4,615 in 1930 to
40,442 in 1938.
Though not formidable Puerto Rico continued to be
Florida's principal canned grapefruit segment competitor,
but in the 1930's the California-Arizona citrus area forged
ahead of Puerto Rico in the production of canned grapefruit
juice. One season, in 1934, the California-Arizona area also
marketed 4,000 cases of grapefruit segments but then ap-
parently decided to drop from this field. Its first commercial
grapefruit juice pack of 10,000 cases, which immediately

Cans being filled with single strength orange juice.

Commercial Canning in Florida
exceeded Puerto Rico's output, appeared in 1932. This
climbed to 459,000 cases in 1937 but a year later had dropped
to 180,000, leaving the California-Arizona area a minor com-
petitor in the grapefruit juice field.
California by itself, however, was Florida's most serious
canned orange juice competitor; its 1937 pack of 1,058,725
cases, being nearly double Florida's pack of 587,334 cases.
Meanwhile the young and expanding grapefruit canning in-
dustry in Texas, devoted mostly to juice, ran a million and
a half cases ahead of Florida in 1937.
The following year Florida regained the lead over Texas
on grapefruit juice and over California on orange juice and
has since retained that lead. California's production of
canned grapefruit segments and juice were negligible in
1941 as was Texas' production of orange juice, but Cali-
fornia had one clear monopoly with a lemon juice pack of
352,422 cases, while Florida maintained a near monopoly on
canned grapefruit segments with 3,149,843 cases.
The Florida industry has steadily overtaken the heavy
increases in fruit production. The 1939-40 Florida citrus
crop, though cut 19 per cent by freezes, reached nearly 43
million boxes of total harvest, and citrus canning broke all
records in boxes, cases, and percentage of crops canned; the
upsurge amounting to more than 300 million cans. Canned
grapefruit segments, whole and broken, totaled 4,133,786
cases; grapefruit juice, sweetened and unsweetened, 4,682,-
067; orange segments, 1,998; orange juice, 2,851,373; blended
juices, 1,402,662, and citrus salads 84,693, making an aggre-
gate of 13,156,659 cases of citrus products.
The last year for which records are available, 1958-59,
figures on No. 2 case basis) 4,572,191 grapefruit sections,
10,093,349 grapefruit juice, 13,258,882 orange juice, 4,216,-
943 combination juice, 772,484 tangerine juice, 571,344 citrus
salad, and 19,216 orange sections, for a total of 33,504,409

Department of Agriculture

cases. In addition there were produced 79,910,670 gallons of
frozen concentrated orange juice, 4,952,488 gallons of frozen
grapefruit concentrate, 165,115 gallons of frozen blended
concentrate and 1,151,782 gallons of frozen tangerine con-

The U. S. Department of Agriculture reported the total
United States citrus harvest for 1940-41 as the highest on
record-125,168,000-about 3 million boxes above the pre-
vious high of 1938-39. Oranges and tangerines totaled 81,-
505,000 boxes; grapefruit 43,663,000 boxes.

-: 4-_-


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Orange concentrate being poured into cans.

Commercial Canning in Florida

The 1958-59 production figures for the country as a whole
were 195,460,000 boxes, including 129,330,000 boxes of
oranges, and 43,790,000 boxes of grapefruit, 4,500,000 boxes
of tangerines and the rest in lemons, limes and other citrus
fruits. Of this number, Florida produced 126,200,000 boxes
of citrus, including 86,000,000 boxes of oranges, 35,200,000
boxes of oranges, 4,500,000 boxes of tangerines, 200,000
boxes of limes, and assorted other citrus products.
Figures for the year 1958-59 indicate that the United
States canned a total of 35,902,000 cans of citrus products,
including 4,752,000 cans of grapefruit segments; 11,384,000
cans of grapefruit juice, 591,000 cans of citrus salad; 14,-
225,000 cans of orange juice, 4,358,000 cans of blended juice,
and 772,000 cans of tangerine juice. In this same year, Flor-
ida processed 33,504,409 cases of citrus products. (See Table
on page 55)

Tree Numbers
It is estimated that there are more than 32.7 million pro-
ducing citrus trees growing in commercial groves in the
State of Florida. Of these 24.9 million are orange trees
of which 12.9 million, are early and mid-season type. Late
orange trees number 12 million.
There are nearly 6.5 million grapefruit trees in Florida.
Seeded type accounted for 2.4 million and seedless type
4.1 million.
There are 1.2 million tangerine trees producing fruit, with
1.5 million trees and 7,000 acres of bearing lime trees.
It is estimated that there are some 109,600 acres of non-
bearing citrus trees, as of 1959.

Department of Agriculture


Canning plants are clean and sanitary.

Closeup of FMC peeler of grapefruit and oranges for canned and
frozen sections.

Commercial Canning in Florida

New Boon for Citrus Industry
The new instant citrus juice in dry crystalline form,
which went into commercial production in 1955, could
completely revolutionize Florida's giant citrus industry.
Made by Plant Industries, Inc., Orange Crystals Division,
the orange and grapefruit crystals provide reconstituted
juice when mixed with water and "It's the ultimate in fresh
juice concentration," according to the manufacturer.
The citrus crystals, made at a new plant in Plant City,
are two and a half times lighter than frozen concentrate
and eight and a half times lighter than whole canned juice.
They keep in ordinary temperatures for an indefinite period
and when mixed with water provide a juice comparable in
taste, appearance, aroma and nutritive value of fresh juice.
The new citrus product is expected to widen market
possibilities and open more processing outlets for Florida
Growers. Because of the light weight, the crystals may
be shipped from Tampa to Chicago for 60 cents, compared
to $1.44 for frozen concentrate and $4.83 for canned juice,
according to the Florida Grower and Rancher magazine,
and it need not have refrigeration. Grove owners who
already provide two-thirds of the country's total citrus crop
and who have been faced in the past with surplus problems,
look with favor to the new industry to take up much of the
expanding citrus production.

Officials at the Orange Crystals plant say that initially
production will be at the rate of 2,000,000 pounds of crystals
a year the equivalent of 15,000 fresh oranges per hour
on a year-round basis. Several similar processing units are
being planned. It is now packed in retail sizes as well as in
large institutional packages.
The crystals are produced by concentrating fresh juice

Department of Agriculture

under an extremely high vacuum with a controlled quantity
of heat applied intermittently. The product is pure, with
a specially developed locked-in natural orange oil product
being added to replace certain essential flavors and oils
stripped out during the drying process. The crystals are
very definite signs of progress in an industry that has contin-
ued its research for a higher living standard for people of
the world.

This is the huge dehydrator-concentrator used to manufacture orange crystals.

Commercial Canning in Florida

National Appeal for Citrus
Although the canning industry traces its history back
several hundred years, the idea of canning citrus fruits
and juices became a reality only about 40 years ago. Despite
the relative youth of the citrus processing industry, today
it is the world's largest operation in the field of fruits and
Florida, by virtue of the fact that almost 35 percent of
the world's total supply of citrus, excluding lemons, is grown
inside its boundaries, has become internationally known as
the citrus growing capital of the world. It naturally follows
that the Sunshine State can also be called the citrus process-
ing capital of the world.
As a matter of fact, more than 90 percent of the canned
and frozen citrus fruits and juices consumed in the world
today are processed in the 50 odd Florida plants. These
plants are turning out some millions of cases of canned juices,
sections, and frozen concentrates annually.
Their capacity for squeezing and freezing Nature's pri-
mary Vitamin C product... oranges, grapefruit, tangerines,
and limes... appears to be almost unlimited. Out of a total
1958-59 citrus crop of 126,200,000 boxes, canners used al-
most 89 million boxes, or about 70 per cent of the entire
Florida citrus processors have had no opportunity to
match production quotas with the sale of citrus products.
On the contrary, whatever production nature sees fit to
provide must be utilized as sort of an automatic sales quota.
This philosophy has apparently been successful, for most
years during the past two decades have been a reasonable
profit accruing to grower, fresh fruit shipper, and processor.


Department of Agriculture
Having a recognized impact on the force which brought
about the Florida citrus industry's position at the top of the
fruit processing field is the activity of the Florida Citrus
Established under the laws of the State of Florida in 1935
at the request of the entire industry, the Citrus Commission
has been an active influence in every phase of the citrus
world. It has led in the pioneering of a new concept of
commodity advertising and merchandising, seeking to solve
the many problems inherent to the transportation of fresh
and processed citrus fruits and juices to far-flung markets;
attempting through various publicity media to inform the
world of the virtues of Vitamin C; and providing for the
future by financing research to make old products better
and new products a reality.
The Florida Citrus Commission has used virtually every
type of advertising media available. National Magazines
have provided the color so important in instilling a desire
for citrus fruits and juices in the minds of Americans. Maga-
zines have been used, too, to tell the Vitamin C story; to
educate the masses in the health-giving aspects of citrus.

Local newspaper advertising, radio and television pro-
grams have provided the urgency appeal; seeking to send
the housewife into her grocery store determined to buy
Florida's citrus products immediately.
Advertising in trade papers has been tremendously valu-
able in helping the citrus industry to establish good relations
with wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and other trade
factors whose job it is to make sure that Florida citrus
products move from the canned goods shelves, frozen food
cabinets, and produce bins into the shopping baskets of the

In addition to the giant consumer advertising program

Commercial Canning in Florida

conducted by the Florida Citrus Commission, an expanding
merchandising program is now providing another important
element . personal contact with the men who sell Florida
citrus at retail, wholesale, and distributor levels. Scattered
throughout the nation at strategic points are more than 65
merchandising representatives of the Commission who con-
stantly work with retail outlets.

These merchandising representatives during a year amass
a total of nearly 100,000 calls on grocery stores throughout
the nation. They erect displays of Florida citrus products,
arrange demonstrations, and seek to assure that the retail
merchant is fully aware of the advantages of the assistance
offered him by the Florida citrus industry.

Frozen orange juice concentrate being packed and stored in freezer
for future distribution.


Department of Agriculture

Through the efforts of the Commission, citrus fruits and
juices have become recognized as a basic part of the nation's
basic diet. For this reason various members of the pro-
fessional fields such as physicians, dentists, nurses, dietitians,
home economists and others, have been valuable friends
to the Florida citrus industry in spreading the story of the
many health benefits derived from oranges, grapefruit, tan-
gerines, and limes. Along this same line, the Commission
now endeavors to assist schools in educating children to
the important part played by citrus in building healthy
and energetic bodies. Its school services department has
been responsible for success in this venture through most
of Florida, and now plans to expand into other states.

Since 1941, the Commission has maintained a research
department to probe problems of improvement in existing
products, and to seek out new and unexplored fields of
citrus development. One of the first problems undertaken
by the Commission's research department was the citrus
concentrate process. In 1944, the Commission's research
director, Dr. L. G. MacDowell, and two other members
of the Citrus Commission's research staff, C. D. Atkins and
Edwin L. Moore, working at the Florida Citrus Experiment
Station applied for a patent on their method of preparing
full-flavored fruit juice concentrate. Four years later, the
U. S. Patent Office issued its patent, giving official recog-
nition to the process which since the 1945-46 season has
been the basis for the production of more than 600 million
gallons of frozen concentrated juice through the 1958-59
Today, Florida growers continue to plant more citrus
trees. Better methods of cultivation and fertilization result
in increased yields from trees already bearing. With this
increased production comes new problems of utilization,
and consumption. More fruit naturally means more juice

Commercial Canning in Florida

to sell... a bigger job for advertising, merchandising, and

The cost for its services to the citrus industry is made
available to the Florida Citrus Commission by special legis-
lation through a per box assessment on all fruit shipped
from the state.
The outlook for the Florida citrus industry is one of con-
tinued increases in production. In order to dispose of this
increase, Florida's commercial juice and citrus canners will
be called on to utilize even more of the total citrus crop.
Florida's canners are confident that they can and will ac-
complish this end; adding still more to the growth and
progress of the Sunshine State of Florida, U.S.A.

Florida Citrus Canners Association
The Florida Citrus Canners Association, originally called
the Florida Grapefruit Canners Association and then later
on the Florida Canners Association, was formed in De-
cember 1931 with 10 members. It is still under its pioneer
executive secretary, C. C. Rathbun and for years it has
maintained headquarters and a staff in Tampa. It has re-
cently moved to a new building in Winter Haven because
of the city's central location in the State and its predominant
position in the Citrus industry.
Original officers, besides Rathbun, were C. E. Street,
president; Ralph Polk, Jr., vice-president; and H. W. Nelson,
treasurer. Present officers are R. C. Lewis, Winter Haven,
president; Ansley Watson, Dade City, 1st Vice-President;
Gene Busbee, Groveland, 2nd Vice-President; Austin Caruso,
Orlando, Treasurer; and Rathbun, as Executive Secretary.
By 1960, the Association had expanded to 51 firms and
was composed of all the citrus canners and concentrators

Department of Agriculture

in Florida, and it was with the help of this group that the
citrus canning part of CANNING IN FLORIDA was re-
vised. The FCCA office compiled and gathered and edited
all the data used in this chapter.

Modern Methods
New methods and improved machinery have been intro-
duced since Florida entered the canning field, and processes,
some of them trade secrets, have been developed. These
have helped decrease losses and eliminate health hazards
with special emphasis on the proper handling of fruit, clean-
liness of employees and plant sanitation.
In canning segments, the fruit is lifted by conveyors and
deposited on a culling belt. Here it is sorted by hand, culls
and spoiled fruit being discarded, after which it moves on
to the sizers for automatic sorting and depositing in separate
bins. The sized fruit passes through a tank of hot water to
soften the peel so as to facilitate its removal by hand, after
which it is run through an alkaline spray to eliminate any
adhering white tissue. It is then repeatedly washed in fresh
water and conveyed to workers known as sectionizers, who
break the fruit into sections and remove the thin skin cover-
ing the sections with a sharp knife. When sweetened fruit
is to be canned, automatic cookers prepare a syrup, which
is conveyed by pipes to "syruping" machines, which deposit
a small quantity of syrup in the open cans as they pass be-
neath on their way to the sectionizers who pack them with
whole segments of fruit.
The filled cans move on to the cooking tank on another
belt to be cooked for a number of minutes after which a
closing machine presses down the fruit, places a lid on the
can and seals it airtight. An automatic tabulator registers
the number of cans sealed.
To thoroughly mix the syrup with the fruit, guiding wires

Commercial Canning in Florida

flip the can upside down as they travel along a belt of re-
volving rollers enroute to a cold spray. After cooking, the
cans go to the labeling department, where, rolling down a
runway, they contact a small rubber revolving belt and re-
ceive a light coat of glue. Then they pass over a stack of
labels, the top one of which adheres to and is firmly rolled
around each can, after which they are packed in cartons
bearing the company's name and brand. The glued edges
of the carton lids are closed and pressed together by ma-
chines and the product is ready for shipping.
Before canning citrus juice the fruit is washed in vats
equipped with automatic churners and brushes. Conveyors
carry the clean fruit past rotating disc cutters, where it is
halved and juiced by automatic reamers. The juice flows
through a trough and is collected in a large vat. From the
collecting vat it runs to the cooking vat to be sweetened,
if a sweetened product is desired, thence to the filling
machine, beneath which a belt carries empty cans. The
filled cans pass on to the closing machines and eventually
to properly sealed and labeled cartons.

Florida Legislation On Citrus Canning
The Legislature of Florida has enacted several laws gov-
erning the production of citrus fruit, and State supervision
extends from grove to final shipment. These laws cover
such items as arsenic spraying, coloring, maturity of fruit,
processing, packing and marketing, charges and commis-
sions, standard boxes, registration of brands, transporta-
tion, grower-cost guarantee, grading, freeze-damage, re-
search, imports, advertising, tests, and inspections. The
Florida Citrus Commission, with the aid of the Citrus In-
spection Bureau, is charged with enforcement of these
statutes. Persons wishing to learn more about the present
legislation relating to citrus and citrus canning may obtain

Department of Agriculture

a copy of "The Florida Citrus Code of 1949" from the State
Department of Agriculture.
All measures of the Citrus Code have the intent of safe-
guarding the citrus industry, the canning industry, the
public and the reputation of Florida.
"Because the planting, growing, cultivating, spraying,
pruning, and fertilizing of citrus groves and the harvesting,
hauling, processing, packing, canning and concentrating of
the citrus crop produced thereon is the major agricultural
enterprise of Florida and, together with the sale and dis-
tribution of said crop, affects the health, morals and general
economy of a vast number of citizens of the State of Florida,
who are either directly or indirectly dependent thereon for
a livelihood, and said business is therefore of vast public
interest..." is one of the main reasons for passing the citrus

Continuous Inspection Service
Besides protective state laws, the Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture
maintains a service designed to benefit both the canner and
the consumer. This provides for continuous inspection by
a government inspector at canneries during every day of
operation to make sure the rigid specifications of this service
are met.
Because of the canning industry and its constructive
ramifications, as summed up in a recent issue of the Florida
Grower, "almost overnight citrus fruits have changed from
Florida's number one economic problem to one of America's
greatest assets."



Grapefruit Grapefruit Orange Combination Tangerine Citrus Orange
Seasons Sections Juice Juice Juice Juice Salad Sections
1921-22....................... 10,000
1922-23.. ................. .. 150,000
1923-24 ...................... 200,000
1924-25. .................. .. 350,000
1925-20 ...................... 400,000
1926-27.. .................... 700,000
1927-28 ...................... 6.00,000
1928-29. ................. .. 957,000 202,000
1929-30...................... 1,31(,738 173,934 37,552
1930-31 ................... .... 2,724,489 412,066 61,119
1931-32...................... 907,323 247,652 36,362
1932-33. .................. .. 2,161,975 725,967 64,319
1933-34. .................. .. 2,184,577 610,115 57,678
1934-35................ .... 3,588,042 2,236,726 240,967
1935-36.. ................... 2,251,775 1,758,497 161,952 84,958 .............. 65,194
1936-37...................... 4,057,672 3,918,604 498,206 271,599 87,758
1937-38...................... 3,419,266 3,370,002 806,183 547,329 .......84,271
1938-39...................... 4,105,755 6,190,290 926,278 699,295 .............. 130,562
CI 1939-40...................... 4,133,786 4,682,057 2,851,373 1,402,662.............. 84,693
Cl 1940-41.................... .. 3,138,841 10,646,985 3,078,043 2,537,437 ......330,180
1941-42................... .. 4,610,884 6,179,780 3,466,302 2,305,309 .............. 273,455
1942-43. ..................... 887,767 15,192,952 2,429,251 3,675,919 ...
1943-44...................... 943,247 16,778,124 7,075,467 6,176,168 ................
1944-45....................... 411,145 12,025,099 13,935,381 7,744,505
1945-46.... ............... 2,406,524 15,089,056 18,420,825 12,267,484 523,499
1946-47 ..................... 5,098,136 8,583,317 17,294,334 10,033,898 1,260,067 295,415 15,355
1947-48...................... 3,158,327 7,986,515 25,593,134 11,893,735 591,964 1,158,029 116,123
1948-49 ...................... 4,237,720 8,842,615 16,757,028 10,252,131 985,137 986,877 110,929
1949-50 ...................... 3,379,357 7,894,334 17,419,271 6,768,370 1,788,057 422,694 10,047 O
1950-51................ ..... 4,627,779 12,741,553 20,021,348 8,711 255 1,158,311 919,344 35,165
1951-52....................... 3,396,300 8,735,247 19,321,032 6,401,978 456,084 574,103 37,477 ,
1952-53...................... 3,810,786 10,853,520 16,906,938 5,706,980 747,898 662,795 25,829
1953-54...................... 4,332,035 14,882,282 17,790,137 6,401,720 800,120 853,000 21,785
1954-55...................... 5,243,970 10,784,135 16,517,861 4,993,758 427,562 785,287 24,840
1955-56...................... 4,758,803 12,805,164 15,499,755 5,264,874 555,213 676,202 42,874
1956-57.................. ... 4.517,504 12,463,852 16,827,801 5,188,076 714,889 572,331 18,325
1957-58 ..... ............. 4,179,319 9,483,915 17,845,767 4,885,049 302,515 461,665 14,245
1958-59...................... 4,572,191 10,093,349 13,258,882 4,216,943 772,484 571,344 19,216

1947-48-152,665 cases of Tangerine and Orange Blend. 1953-54- 446 cases of Grapefruit and Tangerine Blend.
1948-49-273,490 cases of Tangerine and Orange Blend. 1954-55-1,270 cases of Grapefruit and Tangerine Blend.
1950-5-- 107 cases of Tangerine and Orange Blend. 1955-56- 863 cases of Grapefruit and Tangerine Blend.
1951-52- 10,421 cases of Tangerine and Orange Blend. 1956-57- 119 cases of Grapefruit and Tangerine Blend.
1952-53- 791 cases of Tangerine and Orange Blend. 1957-58- 310 cases of Grapefruit and Tangerine Blend.




1940-41 ............................................... ....................
19 4 1- 4 2 . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. . .. .. . .. .. . . .. . . .. . .. .. . .. .. . . ..... ..
1942-43. .. ......... . . . . . . .
194 -46 ................... .............................. .................
1946-47 ................... ................... ............ ...................
19 45-4 .....................................................................
19 4 0- 4 7 . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. . .. . . . .. .. .. . . .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. . .. .. . .
1949-48 .....................................................................
1948-5 ......................................... .................. ...........

19 4 9 5 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1950-53 .....................................................................
1951-54 ................... ..................................................
1954-55. ...... ......... ...... .................. ..

1955-56 .................................
1958-59 .. .............................

Processed Concentrated
Orange Juice,
(65 Brix


1,531 49O

Frozen Concentrated
Orange Juice
412 Brix



21,647 447







Frozen Processed Frozen Processed Frozen Processed
Grapefruit Grapefruit Blend Blend Tangerine Tangerine

Gallons Gallons Gallons Gallons Gallons Gallons 5

1948--49 ................................................ 116, 123 18,728 111,836 140 .. ....................
1949-50 ................................................ 1,584,561 27,891 1,302,748 ........... .......................
Cj( 1950-51 .................. ................ ........... 187,903 147,707 245,106 1,060 .............
1951-52 ................................................ 1,097,564 16,112 535,703 ............ 349,161 ............
1952-53 ................................................ 1,226,485 50,563 479 ,745 ........... .. 551,397 ...........
1953-54 ................................................ 1,656,469 55,372 965,430 ............ 443,105 ............
1954-55............................................... 1,155,314 31,860 560,545 ............ 877,011 ............
1955-56 ............................................... 2,511,831 30,719 954,142 ............ 618,986 25,055
1956-57. .................................... ........... 2,949,072 59,105 596,731 ............ 792,516 32,431
1957-58. ............................................... 3,330,301 107,896 506,915 .. ....... 146,576 ..........
1958-59................................................ 4,952,488 165,115 689,521 ............ ..1,151,782 23.039
1 . . . . . . . . . . . ,1 ,6 . . 1 1 ,2 0
--------------------------------------- I

Department of Agriculture

Florida's farms and fields contribute hundreds of train
loads of vegetables annually to the winter market basket
of the nation and also an ample supply for commercial
canning. Tomatoes and beans are the leaders, but Florida
also cans okra, cucumbers, greens, cowpeas, sugar corn,
English peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, succotash,
black-eyed peas, spanish rice, pimientos, squash, rutabagas,
Blue Lake green beans, okra and tomatoes, green peppers,
red peppers, carrots, catsup, chili con came, spaghetti,
mixed vegetables, tomato juice, dietary foods, baby foods,
soups and vegetable sauces. In addition to canning of veg-
etables, there are a number of companies in Florida who
freeze or dry various vegetables and fruits.

Firm prices of fresh winter vegetables, however, have to
an extent curtailed vegetable canning in Florida, but in
recent years the volume of such canning has considerably
increased. For the 1940-41 season, Florida's total vegetable
crop was estimated at 58,650 carloads and valued at
$43,077,816. The most recent figures, compiled for 1958-59
by the Florida State Marketing Bureau, shows that 127,864
carloads of vegetables valued at $158,110,000 were har-
vested and shipped for consumption. In 1940-41, 1,200 car-
loads were canned while 5,026 carloads were processed
during 1958-59.
During 1959, there were more than 30 canning plants in
Florida processing vegetables for consumption by customers
throughout Southeastern United States, with some canners
selling their products to the midwest and Northeast sections
of the country. The monthly payroll of Florida vegetable
canning plants, as supplied by the Florida Industrial Com-


Commercial Canning in Florida

mission amounted to $33,643.62 in 1939, $48,296.15 in 1940
and $81,449.35 in 1954 and more than $120,000 in 1959.

Tomatoes, tomato juice, and tomato pulp combined,
furnish the largest vegetable pack in the State. This native
American favorite is a leader, because of its flavor, and
vitamin value, and its consumption has steadily increased
throughout the country. The national pack of tomato
products for 1939 reached the amazing figure of 35,640,905
cases, valued at $52,063,107. The modest Florida pack for
1940-41 used 675 carloads of the fresh vegetable with a
pack numbering 445,132 cases. The tomato pack for 1959
for the United States totaled 23,000,000 cases, with Florida's
pack approximately 1,850,000 cases.

Tomatoes have been grown profitably for canning in
Florida, because labor costs and extra attention have been
somewhat offset by a greater yield and repeat crops per
season. Gross income per acre has in fact averaged more
for tomatoes than the average income from all other truck

While Florida's 1959 pack of canned tomatoes may seem
small in comparison to other States such as California with
10,100,000 cases and Maryland with 3,800,000 cases, it must
be remembered that Florida shipped 19,087 carloads of
fresh tomatoes to northern markets during the 1958-59
winter season. Florida's tomato pack came from 3,800 car-
lots processed in the state.

Stringbeans (green pod) are second in the State's vege-


Department of Agriculture

table canning pack with a total of 690,000 cases during
1959. This compares to the 70,023 cases packed in 1939.
Most of the bean crops in the State have been too much
in demand in fresh vegetable markets to furnish material
for canning, or to even constitute a problem to be solved
by the canners. In 1958-59, 6,868 carloads were shipped
to northern markets as fresh vegetables while only 536
carloads were processed here in the State.
The total U. S. pack in beans was 24,900,000 cases, with
the leading states being Washington with 7,000,000 and
New York with 3,900,000.

Other Vegetables
Aside from the two leaders, tomatoes and beans, totals
have been small on other vegetables. Blue Lake green
beans, greens, peppers, potatoes, and okra are canned in
fair quantities and small amounts of peas, potatoes, and
cowpeas. Cucumbers go into several kinds of pickles and
relishes. Most of these scattered items are canned com-
mercially only in connection with other canning operations
to use up local surplus or meet a definite demand. The
Florida State Marketing Bureau estimates that 200 car-
loads of miscellaneous vegetables were canned in the State
in the 1940-41 season.
The 1958-59 disposition of vegetables as reported by the
Florida State Marketing Bureau estimates that 5,026 car-
loads of miscellaneous vegetables were processed in that
year in Florida.
Following are the canned pack for various vegetables in
Florida during the 1959 season:


Commercial Canning in Florida

Canned Vegetable Pack

Tomatoes ............. .
Tomato Juice ............
Potatoes .............. .
Green Beans ............
Peppers ......... ......
Squash .................
G reens .................
Peanuts ...............
O kra .................
Sweet Potatoes ..........
Peas, Black Eye .........
Peas, Field .............
Kidney Beans .......... .
Other Bean Combinations
Mixed Vegetables ........
Miscellaneous Vegetables
In Small Lots.........

T otal ...............

..... 30,000
. 180,000
. 690,000
. 200,000
. 100,000
. 175,000
.... 20,000
...... 10,000
. .... 7,500
..... 25,000
...... 4,500
..... 2,000
. . 5,000
. . . 5,009


. 15,500 cases

..... 3,319,500 cases

Perhaps if we were to look into a canning plant here in
the State, you readers would get a better idea of what this
industry means.

The Havana Canning Company, located in a small town
by the same name in Northwest Florida, is in the midst
of a farming section. During its season, which extends from
April to February, there are 35 to 110 workers employed at
the plant, who average $1.15 cents an hour in wages.

Seasons for canning products here start with turnip, col-
lard, mustard greens and spinach, December to February;
potatoes, April; Blue Lake green beans, April 15 to June 5;
squash in May and in October; blueberries and blackberries,
June and July; pimientos, August to November 10; pineapple


Department of Agriculture

Workers snipping Blue Lake green beans at the Havana Canning Company.



Hundreds of cans being filled with Blue Lake green beans on the way to being sealed.



1:_ r


Commercial Canning in Florida

pear, August; and boiled peanuts, September. The biggest
pack is in green beans, with the total plant production
going from 185,000 to 250,000 cases a year.

Perhaps the pride and joy of the Havana Canning Com-
pany has been the introduction of the Blue Lake Bean into
the rich tobacco shade-land area a few years ago. It came
from the Pacific Coast where it had formerly been almost
exclusively grown. The owners of the canning company
made an intensive study of the best seed strains obtained
from and approved by that area. They then followed through
with personally supervised scientific cultural practices, in-
cluding proper fertilization, insect and disease control
and irrigation. This bean has a fresh flavor, good texture,
rich green color and general uniformity in quality, and ac-
cording to all reports is equal to if not superior to the Blue
Lake bean from the Northwest.
Owners of the. company, fully realizing that the more help
they give the farmers the better the products will be, spend
much effort and money in research and experiments for
the farmers. Such help includes directions for fertilizers,
weather data, rainfall, tests for soil moisture, checking plant
growth, getting certified seed, checking for disease, experi-
menting with different strains and varieties of vegetables,
and making contracts with farmers to buy his crop.

This particular company, which produces the "Leko",
"Sun-glo", and "Crest-More" brands, sells its products
throughout the entire Southeast, with blueberries, black-
berries, pimientos, and Blue Lake Green Beans being sold
as far north as New York and Chicago and over to New
Orleans. This company sells its products through a broker -
while there are others here in Florida who sell directly to a
wholesale company.
Havana Canning packs in 2 and 4 oz. glass jars, in 4, 7

Department of Agriculture

Women are trimming and peeling tomatoes for canning at Markham
Plant in Okeechobee.

Tomatoes being placed in cans after which the cans will be sealed and
sent to the retorts.

Commercial Canning in Florida

and 14 oz. tins and in No. 2, No. 303, No. 23 and No. 10 cans.
Another canning group, Markham Brothers in Okeecho-
bee, has four plants in the State located at the following
places and with the number of employees indicated during
the peak of the season: Okeechobee, 150 persons; Princeton,
100; Melbourne, 80; and Bowling Green, 75. Recently this
company leased the Immokalee Canning Company for future
packing operations.
Markham Plants pack tomatoes, tomato juice, Irish pota-
toes, cut whole beans, french style beans, turnip, collards
and mustard greens, okra and tomatoes and carrots. Total
pack for all four factories approximates 550,000 cases, in-
cluding 450,000 cases of tomatoes and tomato products.
Seasons for these plants extend from October 15 to June 30.
So it is with all the vegetable canners in the State, differ-
ent plants in different sections can different products, and
all canning the same product-such as tomatoes-have the
same standards for their processing.
Canning companies have many laws regulating their
usage and various governmental agencies are constantly
checking their plants for weights, sanitation, label require-
ments, raw product control, waste control, ventilation,
toilets, water, lighting, comfort for the employees and a
host of other items relating to the worker, the plant and
the product. Such inspection agencies include the State
Department of Agriculture, U. S. Department of Agricul-
ture and Florida State Board of Health. Particular emphasis
is placed on following the regulations of the Federal Food,
Drug and Cosmetics Act.
Cognizant of the outstanding accomplishments made by
the Florida Citrus Canners Association on behalf of its
members, various vegetable canners decided to set up a
similar organization for themselves.

Department of Agriculture

Accordingly in June 1959 an organizational meeting of
vegetable processors in Florida was held in Orlando and
W. Allen Markham of Markham Brothers & Company of
Okeechobee was elected president.
Other officers in addition to Markham included Gordon
Schmitt, Steinfeldt-Thompson, Inc., of Dania, first vice-
president; Samuel Sugarman, of Sugar Rose Canning Com-
pany, Plant City, second vice-president; and J. S. Peters,
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Orlando, secretary-
Markham explained the purpose of the new organization
was "to promote and advance the vegetable canning industry
of Florida. This will be accomplished through coordinated
efforts of all members, by research and other means im-
mediately available for this purpose."
Most of the vegetable canners in the State are presently
members of the group and arrangements are being made
to urge other canners to join the organization.
The following two sections will give a quick summary
of the preparation and canning of tomatoes and green beans,
our two main packs:

Preparation and Canning.-Tomatoes grown for canning
are the result of many years' work by seedsmen. The result
has been greatly improved strains of tomatoes, bred solely
for canners' use. These special tomatoes are plucked red-
ripe and taken immediately to the cannery. There they
are washed thoroughly, scalded for peeling, then peeled
and trimmed by hand. Fancy grades are filled into cans
by hand others by semi-automatic machines. No water
is added, the juice being that from the tomatoes in the can.
A little salt is added, and the sealed cans are heat-processed.

Commercial Canning in Florida

Tomatoes are canned in three grades Fancy, Extra Stand-
ard, and Standard, the chief difference between them being
the depth and uniformity of color, the solidity and whole-
ness of the tomatoes, and the freedom from small pieces of
skin and core. Standard grades may be packed with a puree
of tomato pulp, which is stated on the label.
Dietetic Value. Canned tomatoes are rich in vegetable
acids and contribute significant amounts of desirable min-
eral elements. They combine the properties of fruits and
green vegetables. They are one of the very best sources
of vitamin C, and a good source of provitamin A, vitamin
B1, and related B factors.
Uses. There are many delicious ways for serving canned
tomatoes, other than as an extra vegetable dish. They are
excellent in an omelet, au gratin, in soups, or with spaghetti.

Stringless Beans
Preparation and Canning. Canned stringless beans may

I *~U~'UL:-

A load of canned vegetables is lifted out of a retort where the canned
product has been processed.

Department of Agriculture

be had as green beans or as wax beans. Both types have
been especially developed for canning purposes to be with-
out strings, and both are canned by the same procedure.
The beans are rushed to the cannery immediately after
picking. After careful sorting, the ends are snipped off by
machine, the beans vigorously sprayed with water, and then
blanched: treated for a few minutes with boiling water.
They are filled into the cans with a weak salt brine, then
seal-cooked in the cans. Canned stringless beans are graded
according to size -the smaller the size, the higher the
grade (because nature produces fewer of them. Better
tasting, good texture and uniformity in size and color.) The
largest beans are usually cut into short lengths before
canning and labelled cut beans. Some packers put the long,
slender, green beans vertically in a can (after cutting to the
proper length); this type of pack is growing in popularity.
Dietetic Value. Canned stringless beans contribute only
small amounts of protein and fat to the diet. Therefore,

: .- --. : ,

1 -




-.- -7 - :----- .
_ .
Canned goods are stored in warehouses until sold to brokers for distri-
bution to grocery stores where they are purchased by the general public.

Commercial Canning in Florida

since the carbohydrate content is not high, the food is a
valuable supplement to diets in which a low caloric intake
is desired. Canned stringless beans are also an important
source of fiber.
Uses. Canned stringless beans are served principally as
a supplementary vegetable; however, they are a delightful
addition to vegetable salads or soups.


Department of Agriculture

The canning of meat products in Florida commenced in
late 1951 when Lykes Bros. Inc. of Tampa completed the
building of the first complete meat canning plant in the
State. Lykes Bros. has been engaged in the meat packing
business for over 54 years, manufacturing a full line of
fresh meat products. The addition of the Lykes canning
operation gave Florida the largest and most complete meat
packing operation in the South. The total canned pack for
1958-59 was approximately 12,000,000 cans or 500,000 cases
on the basis of No. 2 cans.
The canning of meats in Florida is of significance to the
growth of the State and was a natural development. Lykes
felt that consumers wanted quick, easy to prepare meals of
high quality. Also it was felt that the canning of meat would
be a stabilizing influence to the fast growing cattle raising
industry. The State as a whole would gain. The policy of
Lykes Bros. is to purchase all materials and supplies possible
from Florida Companies. Good beef cattle are near at hand.
Cans are manufactured by major can companies in several
Florida cities. There is a good supply of top quality vege-
tables for hash and stew type products plus businesses
equipped to make labels, cartons and the many other sup-
plies needed for a canning operation.
In 1956 Lykes became the first U. S. inspected and ap-
proved meat canning operation in the State of Florida. This
development has meant that Florida products in the meat
line can now be shipped to other states and exported through
the Caribbean area. In 1960 Lykes reported that it was doing
business in 15 southeastern States in addition to the islands.
The canning of meats is an exacting operation and is
divided into many parts. The most important elements are:


Commercial Canning in Florida

1. Formula Development
2. Consumer Research
3. Production Scheduling
4. Procedure Standardization
5. Inspection Procedure.

Formula Development
In the case of Lykes, the development of top quality
formulas is everybody's job. In the case of some products
as long as two years of intensive development is spent
before a new product is put on the market. The first step
is to arrive at a general formula. Small batches are made
and tested. When the Production Department believes that
a satisfactory formula is reached, the finished products are
then turned over to a "Taste Panel" composed of officials
of Sales, Production, Purchasing, and others. Usually this
panel suggests changes in formula and after many such
meetings, the final formula is agreed upon and the new
product is ready for Marketing Development.
In the development of new canned meat products, Con-
sumer Research plays an important part. A product manu-
factured for Northern markets in many cases will not suit
Southern tastes. By the same token, such products as Beef
Tripe and Sausage in Oil move poorly in the North while
Scrapple moves poorly in the South.

Production Scheduling
Production scheduling in a meat canning operation
reaches all the way from the raisers of livestock right to
the machine speed of the canning equipment. In the case
of Beef products, cattle must be obtained and scheduled
into the plant for slaughter and boning ahead of canning
production schedule. This is a close operation as the Beef

Department of Agriculture

ready for canning must be fresh in order to yield its peak
flavor. Temperatures of meats must be watched closely
all the way through the many operations of boning, pre-
paring for canning, and into the can. Fresh vegetables
for Stews must be at the plant immediately before canning,
again for maximum flavor retention.

Procedure Standardization
Like all canners, everything in the canning of meat
products is geared to the capacity of Filling and Closing
Equipment and Cooking Retorts. If, for example, a filling
machine operates at 300 cans per minute the operation
must be set up so that enough personnel are available to
supply product to the machine and then sufficient additional
personnel to efficiently process and label finished product.

Inspection Procedure
At Lykes, inspection standards are very rigid. All canning
personnel are required to wear white uniforms and hats or
hair nets. Product in process is constantly being checked
for proper temperatures. A full time group of clean up men
is on duty before, during, and after all operations. A
finished product is given exhaustive tests for flavor, fresh-
ness, proper closures, and vacuums inside the can. In addi-
tion to the regular inspectors, every employee is constantly
told to be his own inspector and to be certain "That the
Plant be as clean as his home and that every can produced
is one he would be proud to serve to guests in his home."
Lykes currently cans 28 products and is at work at the
present developing several new ones for marketing within
the next year. These products include corn beef hash,
beef stew, roast beef and gravy, chili (plain, mac, and with
beans), vienna sausage, oil sausage, beef tripe, roast beef
hash, brunswick stew, luncheon meat, and potted meat.

Commercial Canning in Florida

All meats for canning are first inspected by Lykes and U. S. Government inspectors.

Such meat products are processed in institutional packs of
gallon cans and in various sizes for the consumer trade.

Meats and Meat Products
Preparation and Canning. Canned meats come in great
variety, including corned beef, corned beef hash, potted
meats, deviled meats, sausages, stews, tongue, roast beef,
chicken, and many others. Methods of preparation and


Department of Agriculture

canning vary with the different meats. In general, however,
the meat is trimmed to eliminate all bone, gristle, and in-
edible fat or skin. Meats are usually pre-cooked so that the
shrinkage all meats undergo during cooking does not occur
in the sealed can. After sealing, the cans are cooked in
steam pressure-cookers; this preserves flavor and quality
Uses. Every ounce in a can of meat is edible, making
these products very economical. The variety of uses for
canned meats is almost as wide as the variety of meats
packed. Served hot, they are one of the simplest, easiest-
to-serve entrees available to the housewife. Canned meats
are excellent for sandwiches (many are packed in handy
loaf sizes) on picnics and camping trips. When served cold,
canned meats should be chilled in the can before opening
and slicing.


Commercial Canning in Florida

For a number of years, Florida has been among the top
five seafood producing states in the nation. Shrimp alone is
worth $20 million a year to the state, a haul of some 55
million pounds. All told, the state produces about 200 million
pounds of commercial fish and shellfish.
Seafood canning is another story. Practically all of the
catch is sold fresh, with a small amount being frozen or
packed in iced containers. So far, the competition from out-
of-state canned salmon and tuna, and from frozen fillets and
fish sticks has discouraged potential Florida canners.
Presently, the only vacuum canned pack is produced by
the turtle cannery at Key West. This plant produces a
famous turtle soup from green turtle meat, an imported
product from Nicaragua.
The biggest packing operation of fresh seafood is that
of blue crabs, which are cooked, picked, and the meat
packed in one pound tins. This is a perishable product which
must be kept refrigerated until consumed. Both coasts of
Florida have crab meat plants, some 32 of them, where
upwards of 12 million pounds of crabs are packed each year.
This amount represents over 400,000 cases of Florida crab
meat for nation-wide markets.
Florida residents are favorably located to obtain seafood
cheaply and plentifully. No place in the state is more than
75 miles from either the Gulf or the Atlantic, and the 4,000
miles of coast furnish over 600 species of edible fish. Prices
of fresh fish vary from as little as 15 cents a pound for
mullet to $1 a pound for large shrimp.
Fortunately for the seafood lover-fisherman, any number
of varieties of fish, as well as shrimp, oysters, crabs, scallops,
lobster, can be taken for sport and food. No salt water fish-


Department of Agriculture

ing license is required to take fish for personal use, and there
are limits and closed seasons only on certain sport fish and
shellfish. The closed seasons on shellfish are in the summer
from March 31 to October 15, depending upon the animal.
The most popular and plentiful fish from a sports-
man's standpoint, are mullet, blue fish, pompano, flounder,
mackerel, spotted trout, red fish, groupers, grunts, snappers,
and snook. These are good food fish and suitable for freezing
or home preserving.
Commercially, oysters are shucked, washed, and fresh
packed in about 20 plants in Florida, most of them on the
northwest coast, from Panama City to Crystal River. Stone
crabs are cooked and quick frozen in a half dozen plants;
spiny lobsters the same.
The State Board of Conservation employs a home econo-

a n c

Canning crab

fe ... -.- !-- :" .-' I_
meat in Jacksonville.



Commercial Canning in Florida

mist who advises and consults with commercial and sports
fishing groups and organizations. She is an authority on the
preparation and use of seafood of all kinds.
There is no doubt that the potential for canning Florida
seafood is great, and in time certainly much of the seafood
that is now sold fresh will be canned. The company that
will properly prepare and can shrimp, mullet, oysters, scal-
lops, etc. should realize a great market.


Department of Agriculture

Florida orchards have for years supplied canners with a
variety of delectable sweets, which have been preserved
largely in homes or small plants operated by individuals or
families and sold to the tourist trade often as an enticing
addition to a gift box of fruit to be shipped from the State.
This branch of the industry, however, no longer depends on
this limited outlet. Some gift shops now operate canning
units of their own, a number of established canners have
added jellies, jams and marmalades to their pack, and sev-
eral pioneer home plants have grown into sizeable factories
with substantial payrolls. Altogether 70 varieties of sweets
from these various sources are now obtainable on the retail
shelves of the Nation.

It is estimated that there may be in the neighborhood of
2,000 small operators, or home-owners that participate in
the making of jams, jellies, preserves and marmalades. There
are, however, only big concerns, located throughout
Florida, that have from 10 to more than 100 employees
concerned in making such sweets. Their estimated pack
during 1959 was approximately 1,500,000 cases of 1 dozen
jars. This does not include honey and syrups. More than 90
percent of the jam and jelly production is packed in glass,
with more than a dozen different sizes.
Such fruits as guavas, mangos, plums and kumquats are
preserved whole or in sections, with lemons and limes fre-
quently added to vary or improve the flavor of spreads,
butter, syrups, conserves, and relishes. Novelties include
catsups made from guavas, grapes, and youngberries, mango
chutneys, and fancy spiced and pickled fruits.

Of 70 Florida fruits canned and marketed over the Nation,
16 belong to the citrus family as follows: orange, grapefruit,

Commercial Canning in Florida

pomelo, shaddock, lime, kumquat, orangequat, limequat,
tangerine, lemon, tangelo, Satsuma, Temple, calamondin,
citrange and citrangedin.
Other fruits include: guavas, Surinam cherries, papayas,
figs, peaches, plums, pineapples, pears, loquats, mangos,
grapes, pomegranates, bananas, roselles, sapodillas, young-
berries, blackberries, blueberries, and persimmons.
The 16 citrus fruits lead the pack, with guavas second.
Banana, pineapple and papaya nectars have increased in
popularity. Other products of the papaya are canned, prin-
cipally juice, pulp and syrup, a meat tenderizer and even
several cosmetic items. Pickles, sauces and similar products
account for a large amount of the miscellaneous canned
pack, while jams, jellies, fruit butters, and preserves and
such by-products as fruit candies, crystallized peel of several
kinds, citrus wines and vinegars and honeys for the rest of
this pack of canned specialties.
Orange honey and palm honey are produced in large
volume in Florida and the "flow" of tupelo honey in north
Florida is awaited annually by many out-of-state bee men,
who bring their colonies to the tupelo territory to gather
this wild delicacy. The tupelo variety is especially valued
for medicinal purposes, because it is the only honey that
does not granulate with age. Three northwestern counties,
Franklin, Calhoun and Gulf, lead in honey production, with
Polk in fourth place in the State, but a leader in orange
honey production.

Florida Honey production during 1959 was 15,618,000
pounds valued at $2,952,000. That same year beeswax
amounting to 4,792,000 pounds sold for $147,000. These
figures compare favorably with 1944 figures of 10,324,000
pounds of honey valued at $1,631,000 and beeswax worth
$80,000. From the more than 15,000,000 pounds of honey

Department of Agriculture

produced in 1959, some 5,000,000 pounds were packed here
in Florida for retail sale, while the major portion of the crop
was shipped out of state as baker's honey or sent overseas.

Wide Variety of Tropical Fruits
This specialized field of canning has ample room for
expansion, both as to markets and materials. Of 600 edible
fruits found in the tropics and subtropics, less than 50 are
in general cultivation in the southernmost areas of the
United States, with only 20 being sold commercially and
even fewer known nationally. The Florida Department of
Agriculture, accordingly has encouraged growers to pro-
duce and popularize more tropical fruits that can be grown
and converted into canned delicacies in the State.
Not many of the limited number of tropical fruits intro-
duced in recent years in near tropical southern Florida have
as yet been produced commercially, but several have shown
good possibilities. Among these strange sounding exotic
fruits, already introduced or in prospect are: antidesna,
carambola, ceriman, governor's plum, mamme apple, pitaya,
rose apple, soursop, sugar apple, tamarind, white sapote,
litchi, eugenia, cherimoya, Java plum, feijo, jujube, Barba-
dos gooseberry, Natal plum, imbe mangosteenn) mayhaw,
ti-es and monstera deliciosa.
Without competition in continental America, and having
novelty appeal, canners hope to turn some of these fruits
into staples the same as has been done with pineapples and
bananas. Fruits already approaching this status include
mango, guava, and papaya, the latter two being canned in
large volume, while Florida manufacturers already use
some of the more obscure tropical novelties to blend with
more common fruits.


Commercial Canning in Florida

As in every group of industries or business, there are
always a few firms classified under the heading of miscel-
laneous, and this chapter will cover a few of the more
interesting ones. We know, of course, that there are a num-
ber of others that ought to be included in this book, but
we tried to take out a representative list.

Canning Green Turtle
Perhaps one of the more unusual canning enterprises here
in Florida is that of canning turtle soup and turtle meat.
Key West is the only city in the State having a turtle proc-
essing plant, which is open on a year-round basis, with the
demand for the canned goods being heaviest in the fall,
and the production of turtles reaching its peak in the sum-
mer months.

The A. Granday Canning Company's annual pack of
turtle soup is small, not exceeding 2,500 cases. This is
due to a very limited demand because of high prices. The
average No. 2 can of Green Turtle soup retails for anywhere
from 50 cents to 85 cents. The average can of No. 2 meat
(gelatinous soup stock) retails for approximately $2.00 a
can. The fresh Green Turtle steak retails for approximately
80 cents per pound.
Following is the story of the Sea Turtles as told by Gran-
day Canning Company:
The green sea turtles are truly the aristocrats of the sea.
They are not vicious and eat only vegetation which grows
on the bottom of the ocean. They are found principally
in the waters adjacent to the southern tip of Florida, Mexico,
Cuba and Central America.


Department of Agriculture

A boatload of green turtles arrives at the cannery.

Hundreds of these turtles are to be found at all times in
the crawls of Thompson Enterprises, Inc., at Key West.
These crawls are built of concrete posts properly spaced
to prevent the turtles from escaping, and to allow fresh
sea water to circulate through them. Two men are regularly
employed to gather vegetation daily from the bottom of the
ocean to feed them.

The Green Turtle Soup Cannery is located alongside the
crawls and the required number of turtles are slaughtered
each day to take care of the cannery requirements. Only
the gelatinous meat found in the back and breast of these
turtles is used in making the famous "Key West Brand Clear
Green Turtle Soup," which is distributed by Thompson
Enterprises, Inc., at Key West.

Commercial Canning in Florida

The Green Turtle Steak found in these turtles is sold
fresh to housewives, hotels and restaurants in Key West,
Miami and other cities. When properly prepared and served,
these steaks are considered a rare delicacy by many con-
noisseurs. Unless they are properly prepared, they lose their
flavor and are inclined to be somewhat tough.
Green Sea Turtles, and other varieties of sea turtles, are
propagated in the following manner: The female turtle,
when ready to lay her eggs, crawls up on a sand beach,
digs a hole in the sand, lays her eggs, covers them with
sand and crawls back in the water. The sun hatches them.
The average nest will contain from ten to twelve dozen
eggs. They are round, smaller than the average chicken
egg and have soft white shells. The baby turtles emerge
from the shells in about three weeks after the eggs are
deposited. They are "on their own" from the time they
are hatched, as the duty of the mother turtle is done when
she lays the eggs in the sand. The baby turtles stay in the
shallow water close to land and as they grow in size and
strength, they move to deeper water. When hatched, they
are no larger than a silver dollar in diameter. Quite often
green turtles weighing as much as 500 pounds each are
Turtles are very much like chickens, insomuch as they
always go home to roost, and because of this habit the
fishermen are able to catch them very easily. They locate
one or more turtles feeding in the daytime and follow them
all day with small boats. When darkness comes, the turtles
stop, or come to rest, and the fishermen know that is the
place where they are going to spend the night. This fact
is also confirmed by the presence of other turtles so the
fishermen put down a marker or buoy and the next day
when the turtles have gone out feeding again, set their nets
all around their sleeping grounds. In the afternoon when


Department of Agriculture

they return, they strike the nets, which are of large mesh,
and become entangled in them, and in that manner they
are caught. They are animals, therefore they come to the
surface of the water at intervals to expel air from their lungs
and to take in a new supply of fresh air. After they are
caught in the nets, they are put in small boats and trans-
ferred to community crawls. Each fisherman brands his
individual catch before placing them in these crawls, hence
a brand is seen on all green turtles. They are kept in these
community crawls until four or five hundred are accumu-
lated or enough for a schooner load. They are then taken
from the crawls, fins tied, and placed on their backs in
the hold of the schooner "A. M. Adams," and brought to
Key West. On arrival they are placed in the cannery crawls
until used.

Canned Rattlesnake
The first commercial rattlesnake cannery in the United
States was founded by George K. End, of Arcadia, Fla.,
in 1936. End developed modern methods of rattlesnake
canning, and perfected the "Supreme Sauce" in which rattle-
snake meat is canned today. From Arcadia, the cannery
was moved to a small town outside Tampa. The little town
was named Rattlesnake, Fla., in honor of its new industry.
Soon after the new plant was built, End was bitten on the
thumb by a huge diamondback rattlesnake, and died in
about 8 hours time.
Mrs. End sold the cannery, including all machinery,
patents, and formulae to Ross Allen, who had been a

Commercial Canning in Florida

friend of Mr. End for many years. Allen moved the can-
nery operations to his Reptile Institute at Silver Springs
where it is still in action today.
The 1940 pack of rattlesnakes was approximately 2,500
rattlers, and today the diamondbacks are canned at the
rate of more than 5,000 per year.

The Reptile Institute is primarily concerned with the
production of snake venom, which is used in medical re-
search; but the preparation of venom is so expensive that
various portions of the rattlesnake must be marketed in

16 :-

Fileting rattlesnake before canning.

Department of Agriculture

order to make up part of the cost. These include rattles,
vertebrae and skins which are used for making belts, caps
and purses.
Diamondback rattlesnakes are the only snakes to be
canned, for other kinds are of inferior size and flavor. Each
rattlesnake yields but a small quantity of meat, since only
the choicest filets are used. The venomous nature of the
.rattlesnake has no effect on the meat, which is wholesome,
firm and white, somewhat resembling chicken in flavor.
The meat is tinned with a special sauce of various in-
gredients, and comes ready to eat. It may be served cold
on crackers as hours d'oeuvres, or else baked in pastry shells
with a little dry white wine. Allen also cans alligator soup.
Most of the rattlesnakes are purchased by the Institute
from professional reptile hunters in many parts of Florida,
Georgia and Alabama. The cannery is located on the In-
stitute grounds. The product is distributed largely through
fancy food distributors in several regions of the United
States and also in many foreign countries. It has proven
remarkably popular as a delicacy for epicures, as a novelty,
and as a memento of a trip to Florida.

New Avocado Product
Utilizing thousands of bushels of avocados that had been
previously dumped in rock pits since they failed to meet
marketing agreement standards, a new Avocado whip went
on the market several years ago in small cans. Canned at
just the right stage of ripeness, the whip is made from fruit
that would be too ripe if shipped, or fruit that is sunburned
or wind-whipped.
There are many other relatively smaller canners in the
State who pack specialties for State consumption. Most of
them are too small to list here, but such a list may be ob-


Commercial Canning in Florida

trained from the 1959-60 Directory of Florida Industries,
available from the State Chamber of Commerce in Jackson-
ville. (Write that office for cost.)
These companies pack such items as olives, maraschino
cherries, olive oil, spanish bean soup, chicken with yellow
rice, various carbonated drinks, pickles and relishes, salads
and salad dressing, barbecue sauces, beverage flavorings,
dietary foods, juice concentrates, soups, and many other
combinations of foods.


Department of Agriculture

The biggest canned product of all in Florida citrus is
packed in 51 different plants and in 1958-59 these companies
packed a total of more than 33,505,000 cases for distribution
to consumers throughout the world.
There are approximately 75 plants in the State of Florida
that have prepared meat products for sale. Many are frozen,
smoked, cured or sold fresh. Only one Lykes Brothers in
Tampa cans meat products for sale to consumers.
There are also 19 poultry processors, but none pack any
part of fowl in cans or jars. More than 120 fishing com-
panies freeze seafood, while nine groups process frozen
foods, such as dinners and salads.
There are 74 plants that put up jams, jellies, marmalades,
and preserves in cans and jars, plus a number of families
that can such items for local sale.
A dozen companies can fruits and juices other than citrus,
while five can soup. There are 32 plants that pack veg-
etables in cans while a half dozen freeze such items and five
companies dry fruits and vegetables.
Twenty-one companies pickle fruits and vegetables in
cans and jars, while also jarring sauces and seasonings.
Four put up oil and shortening, and 21 different plants jar
syrup (cane, guava and molasses). On the honey side,
some 30 apiary operators jar honey for sale throughout the
Eight plants manufacture the tin cans used in the canning
process in Florida, while there are several glass container
plants making jars and bottles of various sizes and shapes
for Florida foods.
The canning plants follow:


Company Name and Address
Auburndale, Florida

Groveland, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
General Foods Corporation
P. 0. Box 697, Florence Villa Sta.
Winter Haven, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida

(Florida Division)
Tampa, Florida
*Distributors only

Commodities Packed
Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Orange Sections,
Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Juice and
Tangerine Juice/Frozen Orange Concentrate, Frozen
Grapefruit Concentrate, Frozen Blended Concentrate,
and Frozen Grapefruit Sections.
Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Grapefruit Juice,
Orange Juice, Blended Juice, Frozen Concentrates.
Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Orange and
Grapefruit Juice, Blended Pinapple and Grapfruit Drink.
Frozen Orange, Blend, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Grape Con-
centrates. Frozen Lemonade, Limeade, Orangeade,
Citrus Punch.
Beverage Bases and Fountain Syrups.
Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Orange Sections,
Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Juice, Tange-
rine Juice, Frozen Orange Concentrate, Frozen Grape-
fruit Concentrate.
*Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Grapefruit Juice,
Orange Juice, Blended Orange and Grapefruit Juice.
Green Beans, Spinach, Juice Drinks.

Brand Names

B'n W




Name and Address Commodities Packed Brand Names
DA PROCESSORS COMPANY Grapefruit Sections & Salad, Grapefruit Juice, Orange CHILLED SALAD
rida Juice and Blended Juice, Fresh Chilled Citrus Salad. GOLDEN SUN
NTRATE COMPANY Frozen Citrus Concentrate GOLDEN NIP

Frostproof, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Arcadia, Florida
Dade City, Florida
Frostproof, Florida
Lake Wales, Florida

Chilled Orange Juice
and Bulk Concentrate.
Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Grapefruit Juice,
Orange Juice, Blended Juice and Tangerine Juice.
Frozen Orange, Grapefruit and Tangerine Concentrate.

Citrus Juices.

Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Grapefruit Juice,
Orange Juice, Blended Juice, Tangerine Juice, Process-
ed Frozen Citrus Concentrates.



Lakeland, Flor

P. O. Box 127




Company Name and Address Commodities Packed Brand Names
FLORIDA FOOD PRODUCTS, INC. Frozen Concentrated Citrus Juices. FFP FLORIDA
Eustis, Florida
FLORIDA JUICE, INC. Chilled Citrus Juices, Sections, and Salad.
Miami, Florida
GENERAL JUICES CORPORATION Frozen Orange, Grapefruit, Blend, Tangerine, Lemon, "HOME"
P. 0. Box 529 Bulk.
Bartow, Florida
GLACIER HIGHLANDS CONCENTRATES, INC. Concentrated Orange Juice, Concentrated Grapefruit GLACIER GROVES
Highlands City, Florida Juice, Single Strength Chilled Orange Juice in Bulk.
GOLDEN GIFT, INC. Chilled Orange & Grapefruit Juice. GOLDEN GIFT oT
P. O. Box 1138
Lakeland, Florida
Umatilla, Florida Frozen Grapefruit Concentrate. LAKE GOLD
GRIFFIN CANNERS, INC. Grapefruit Sections, Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, SUN SIP
Bartow, Florida Blended Juice, Tangerine Juice.
HALCO PRODUCTS, INC. Chilled Orange Juice and Chilled Grapefruit Juice. SOUTHERN GOLD,
Orlando, Florida BABIJUICE, HOOD


Company Name and Address
(Single Strength Division)
Davenport, Florida
(See Ridge Citrus Concentrate, Inc.)
P. O. Box 97
Dunedin, Florida
to Frostproof, Florida

Division National Dairy Products Corp.
Lakeland, Florida
Highlands City, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Commodities Packed
Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Orange Sections,
Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Juice, Tan-
gerine Juice, Blended Tangerine and Orange Juice,
Blended Hawaiian Pineapple Juice and Grapefruit Juice.
Frozen Citrus Concentrate, Chilled Citrus Sections,
Purees, Beverage Bases.

Chilled Orange and Grapefruit Juice.

Citrus Fruits and Salads.

Grapefruit Juice, Blended Juice, Orange Juice, Grapefruit
Sections, Citrus Salad, Orange Sections, Frozen Orange

Frozen Citrus Concentrates.

Brand Names





Company Name and Address Commodities Packed

Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida
Wauchula, Florida

P. O. Box 2673, Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida
(Plants: Plymouth, Leesburg, Auburndale)

Lakeland, Florida
(Plant: DeLand, Florida)
Plant City, Florida

Citrus Juice.

Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Orange Sections,
Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Juice, Tan-
gerine Juice, Grapefruit and Pineapple Nectar.

Frozen Citrus Concentrates.

Frozen Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Limeade, Lemon-
ade, Lemon, Lime, and Blend Concentrates, Processed
Orange and Grapefruit Concentrate; Malted Milk,
Grape, Pineapple Concentrates, Canned Citrus Juices,
Orange Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Orange-Grapefruit Juice
Blend, Tangerine Juice.

Instant Orange Juice Crystals, Instant Grapefruit Juice

Brand Names








Company Name and Address Commodities Packed

Kissimmee, Florida

Box 1048
Lakeland, Florida
P. 0. Box 468
Goulds, Florida
Dade City, Florida

Plymouth, Florida

(Frozen Division)
Davenport, Florida

Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Juice, and Tan-
gerine Juice, Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Chilled
Orange and Grapefruit Juice.

"Juices Scientifically Prepared for Babies."

Frozen Limeade, Lime Juice, Mangoes, and Avocados.

Frozen Orange Concentrate, Grapefruit Concentrate, Tan-
gerine Concentrate, Blend Concentrate. Processed
Orange Concentrate, Grapefruit Concentrate, Tange-
rine Concentrate.
Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Blended Juice, Tangerine
Juice, Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Salad, Orange Sec-
tions, Processed and Frozen Citrus Concentrates.
Frozen Concentrate Grapefruit Juice, Blended Grapefruit
and Orange Juice, Orange Juice, Tangerine Juice,
Limeade, Lemonade, Frozen Grapefruit Sections, Grape-
fruit and Orange Sections, Valencia Orange Sections.

Brand Names





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