Thursday, September 27, 2012

Acidity in Jam


I've seen a lot of stuff on the web lately where some people are very worried about the acidity level of jam and other food that is being canned for long tern storage.   There's a lot of unnecessary drama and hysteria.

Here is the FDA document that discusses acidity: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/AcidifiedLow-AcidCannedFoods/default.htm

Shoot for a pH of lower than 4.6.

How do you measure pH? Canning Across America recommends against using pH strips to gauge pH. Use a meter like one of these: pH meters. You'll see a wide variety of prices and reviews, so do your research before you buy.

For more information on acidity, check out the sources at the bottom of the post. 

Here are lists of high acid and low acid fruits. High acid fruit can usually be made into jam without adding extra lemon juice. Low acid fruits need the lemon juice or can be mixed with high acid fruit to lower the pH.

High Acid Fruits

  • crabapples
  • green apples, tart apples
  • cranberries
  • currants
  • gooseberries
  • tart plums
  • grapes
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • rhubarb
  • pineapple
  • raspberries

Low Acid Fruits should be canned with extra acid added for shelf stability and food safety, according to the FDA.
  • sweet apples
  • quince
  • peaches
  • pears
  • blueberries

Here's another site with a lot of great info on fruit acidity: http://foodpreservation.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=foodpreservation&cdn=food&tm=211&f=10&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/askext/jamjelly/4341.htm

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Other sources: 
  • http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/AcidifiedLow-AcidCannedFoods/default.htm
  • http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/cooking-tips/tipstechniques/jammaking/roleofpectinandacid.aspx
  • http://foodpreservation.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=foodpreservation&cdn=food&tm=211&f=10&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/askext/jamjelly/4341.htm
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/497197-list-of-foods-low-in-pectin-and-white-flour/
  • http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/prep_jam_jelly.html
  • http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/food-ph-d_403.html
  • http://www.herbstreith-fox.de/fileadmin/tmpl/pdf/broschueren/Konfituere_englisch.pdf
  • http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/jams/jam2/best-strawberry-preserves2.asp
  • http://www.canningacrossamerica.com/canning-faqs/

3 comments:

  1. I can't remember if you mentioned before whether you use a pH meter. What's yours if you have one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UPDATE: I did get a pH meter so I can sell my jam. I got this one: http://www.amazon.com/Oakton-EcoTestr-Waterproof-Tester-Range/dp/B004G8PWAU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1362244202&sr=8-3&keywords=ph+meters+for+hydroponics

      Sorry about the ridiculous link.

      Delete
  2. I do not test for acidity. This is why I stopped saying, 'Process for canning' at the end of my recipes. That said, I do can all of my jam without testing for acidity.

    ReplyDelete

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