Don’t want to cook tonight after a long and tiring day? You can rely on the canned food. Gone were those days when only soups and stews were available in cans, nowadays almost any kind of food is available in high quality steel cans. These canned foods can not only make the preparations easier, but also some of them come in ready-to-eat form.
History of canned food: The concept of canned food was coined by Nicolas Appert in early 19th century, when French Governor was trying to find out a way to feed his army men with preserved foods. It was found that enzymes, dehydration and oxidation- all these factors could be reduced with the scientific process of canning. Later on, Louis Pasteur invented pasteurization, which could eliminate the chances of the foods from going off. This invention certainly developed the whole canning process.
Now, there are many arguments regarding the nutritional values of these foods. Some opine that these foods are not at all good for health since they have been preserved for months, while there are some who think these foods are packed in such a condition that they can retain their normal food value for more than a year. Before ending up with any conclusion, let’s check how the canning process is done.
The canning process: The method of preserving the food in an air-tight container for a long time is called canning. In order to get rid off any chances of going off, the canned foods are gone through methods like heating, drying, and freezing. The low-acid foods need to be sterilized at a high temperature to kill the potential bacteria while the high-acid foods can be canned in boiling water.
Is canned food good for you! : Are you concerned if your canned food is less fresh or less nutritious than the cooked food? Relax! According to a recent research, canned foods can be equally fresh and good as any other freshly cooked foods. Canning reduces some heat-sensitive nutrients like Vitamin C, which makes it easier to absorb for our body. Most canned foods contain no preservatives, mainly because they are packed at their peak of ripeness. They are cooked at high temperature and are sterilized in steel containers, which keep the nutrition intact. Almost all the canned foods are low salt and absolutely fat free. Canned vegetables are high in carotenes. These high quality steel cans offer complete protection from outside agents like water, oxygen and light. Since cans are recyclable, canned foods are extremely environment friendly as well as cheap. To sum up, canned foods are fresh and can retain their nutritional values unharmed for years.
Some important facts about canned foods:
• High-acid canned foods like fruits can be stored up to 18 months.
• Low-acid canned foods like meat and vegetables can be stored up to five years.
• Avoid the cans, which show any of these following: leaking, bulging, cracking, denting, foul colors, and discoloration.
• Canned foods must be stored in cool dry and clean environment and keep them away from around the stove, sink or basement.
• Check if the can is BPA free.
• Evade drinking canned soda.
• Never forget to check the expiry date.
• If you feel anything uncanny after opening the can, don’t hesitate to throw the can away.
• Always try to eat as fresh as possible.