Canned foods are considered one of the most reliable types of food today. There have been many studies that show how canned foods can last for decades and yet remain edible, without traces of bacteria or microbial growth.
In some cases, canned foods 100 years old were still as good and healthy as when they were canned. Of course, the food loses some minerals and vitamins over time, and also the color is not as vibrant as when it was fresh, but the fact that it remains edible is what makes it so reliable.
According to some research results, frozen foods can be considered as nutritious as canned foods. And while frozen foods can not remain edible for more than 40 years, this is not the case with canned foods. Of course, we do not recommend that you can eat corn in 50 years, but we show you that canned foods can be a powerful way to store food for unfavorable conditions, emergencies or disasters. We show you that even after the supposed expiration date, the food can be surprisingly intact.
How long is the canned food?
We have to differentiate between commercially canned foods and canned foods in the home.
Canned food commercial vs home
Therefore, in general, commercially canned foods, as we said earlier, can last for many decades. This is true, of course, depending on how you store the food. According to the research, if you store canned food at a temperature around (or below) 75? F, it is possible that the food remains intact until possibly for more than 100 years, and even indefinitely. This is provided so that the can is not broken, punctured, etc. It must be intact.
Also, make sure you do not freeze canned food, as there may be a risk that the food will get bigger and break the jar / tin. The optimum temperature range is 50-75? F.
You can see that certain canned foods are suspect if the can is bulky. This may mean that some fermentation process is underway and that there is a microbial presence. You could open the can and inspect it yourself. As recommended, use your senses (smell mostly) to determine if the food is okay or not.
Again, it’s worth mentioning that the longer you store your canned foods, the more they change the color and texture. Do not let that fool you. If you taste the food with the tip of your tongue and smell it, this should be enough to determine its properties. If you find it unpleasant, then it is best to discard it.
When it comes to canned food at home, The expiration date is usually much shorter. You need to be more careful when making your own canned foods. This is because the canning process is specific and requires certain conditions to be met. If canned foods do not heat up properly, a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum begins to grow. It causes botulism, which is a heavy form of food poisoning. According to the data, a large number of patients in the United States suffered from botulism due to inadequate heating of canned foods in their home.
Apart from all that, canned food at home should last up to 12 months. If stored in a cool, dark place, and if stored properly, the food can last between 1 and 2 years.
In those cases, when you prepare your canned food at home, adding certain preservatives can be a good start to prolong its shelf life. Natural preservatives such as high acid, alcohol, etc., can bring some discoloration (if it is mild and only on the surface, that is perfectly normal). Depending on the preservatives you have used, the brine may (or may not be) muddy. It is still important to consider these things like muddy water, foam in the brine, bubbles, etc. The intensity of these indicators will be shown more clearly if there is something suspicious in the bottles.
If we need to compare canned vegetables, fruits and other plant foods with canned meat, we should note that canned meat tends to have a much longer shelf life. Everything provided as long as you canned it correctly. If it is a commercial canned meat, according to some people, the shelf life can be at least 7 years with the possibility that it is practically impossible to spoil.
All of the above storage and protection requirements may still be valid. It is also important to know that if you can make meat in your home, you must cook under pressure during the time you do it in ordinary meat meals.
You should know that, for most commercially canned foods, the expiration date does not always mean that the food will be spoiled the day after the printed date. You can usually find it in canned and # 8216 foods; Previous expiration date. This means that the flavor, taste and color of that canned food is better before that date. Practically and # 8216; The best dates before are often simple suggestions for consumers, but they do not indicate when the food will become inedible.
This means that canned meat, for example, can have an average shelf life of 7 years, but it has a y # 8216; The expiration date is 1 year after canning. It is still perfectly edible in the seventh year. And as we mentioned, your life is much longer if stored properly. According to most consumers, canned SPAM meat can last forever if the can is not damaged in any way.
It is worth sharing an example of real life. A British couple decided to marry in 1956. Among all those present, they were also given a can of chicken. The man decided to establish a game stating that on the 50th anniversary of the couple will open the canned chicken and eat it. And so, in 2004 he kept his word and opened the can. He ate the chicken and he liked it. He agreed with him very well.
According to labels and official information, canned vegetable foods can last less than canned meat, approximately 2 years maximum. Again, keep in mind that it may still be edible long after the date and # 8216; Best previous date. The canned vegetable meal will have the best properties, the highest value of vitamins and minerals, and a fresh taste and smell before the second year. After that, the nutritional content will decrease by 10% each year. If canned food is in jars and near natural sunlight, exposed areas may lose their fresh color.
This is a real example of canned bread that survived World War II and was perfectly fine when it was first opened in 2002. It was found by an old man in Germany. He donated the 20 cans of bread to the European Bread Museum in northern Germany.
The rye bread was carefully inspected and there were no signs that it was not edible. This canned bread was perfect for human consumption even after 50 years.
Canned milk products
Canned cheese and butter can also have a very long shelf life (just like the products we mentioned earlier). They can have an average life of at least 5 years. According to one of the largest and most important food suppliers in the US UU., The acquaintance and number 8216, the expiration date of 1-2 years does not come from the food itself, but from the can manufacturers. This is because even metal cans have a warranty date.
After that date has expired, the can manufacturer can not assume any responsibility. Otherwise, after testing the microbiological flora in canned cheese and butter, the results are that the food is as good as new.
As for a real life example, we can share that a food supplier employer had kept a canned cheese for 7 years in his basement. He decided to bring it for inspection and it was discovered that the microbial content is normal and that the cheese is edible.
The science of food inspection.
There is a scientific establishment called National Food Lab. (NFL). You may be surprised to learn that they specialize in determining if, and to what extent, foods lose their taste, smell and appearance. After the preparation, they taste the food in different stages: after 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, etc. They do not eat it, they just taste it. The verb is expectorated.
As they try certain foods, they give grades, from 1 to 10. As the foods are considered older, it is natural that the taste is no longer so good, and can give 6. However, this is not so. Make it go to waste. It’s just that the food is not so tasty anymore. Therefore, as these data are processed and sent to the food producers, they determine the dates and # 8216; Sell-by ‘and # 8216; Best-by ‘according to NFL experts had rated these foods. In this way, food producers will protect their reputation by maintaining a high quality of taste and smell for their food.
The reason we share this with you is to allow you to see the process of labeling canned foods with # 8216 labels; sell-by ‘and and # 8216; best-by ‘. Most people believe that when the date has expired, the food should be discarded immediately, while it may be perfectly fine.
Note that if a canned food has expired and # 8216; according to the date, it is sent to the auctions or donated to the food banks. It does not get thrown up like rancid.
CONSERVATION OF FOOD