The Process of Canning.


Food is processed and then sealed in airtight containers in order to increase shelf life. This process is called canning. Most shelf lives range from typically one to five years, but some dried foods can last for as long as 30 years and remain edible. There have been records of food lasting for over 100 years, although the look and smell might change, it remains edible with no trace of microbial growth. 


The demand for canned foods skyrocketed during the first World War. In order to feed millions of soldiers, there was a need for high-calorie, cheap food, which was also able to be transported efficiently. The first few foods that were canned for this use was beans, pork and bully beef. When the militaries realized that more morale-boosting foods were required, foods such as ravioli, pasta e fagioli and beef bourguignon were then introduced. Glass jars were originally used to preserve foods but presented many challenges. It was then that the cylindrical tin can was introduced, now known as just "cans". These were cheaper and faster to produce. Can openers were only invented 30 years after this. 


In order to make sure that the tin can is airtight, double seams are used. This makes sure to keep certain micro-organisms out of the tin can and food. These double-seamed cans are also known as Sanitary Cans. The Sanitary Can was introduced in Europe in 1990. 


Seaming is the process of bringing the end and the body of the can together. Once they have been brought together in the seamer, they are then put into a roller, ensuring that the end and body are tightly seamed together. 


There may be a chance of toxic substances migrating from the can to the contents. Substances like these include lead. One of the most common food canning processes involves storing the food in salt dissolved in water. Health problems may arise from the consumption of too much sodium, such as high blood pressure. Although many canned foods in modern times are available with low salt contents. A rare but very dangerous risk of consuming canned foods include ingesting C. botulinum spores, this causes an illness called Botulism. Botulism causes paralysis, which can spread to breathing muscles, in turn causing respiratory failure. 

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