Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Myth: My canned green beans lost some liquid during the processing time; so I can open them to add more liquid.

Answer: Busted!

If the jars were processed correctly and are sealed, DO NOT open them to replace the liquid. If liquid is lost from the jar during processing the food may darken, but it will not spoil. There are several reasons for liquid loss in canning:

  • food packed too tightly in jars
  • air bubbles not removed before capping the jar
  • pressure canner not operated correctly or pressure fluctuating during processing
  • lowering pressure in canner suddenly after processing
  • opening the canner lid before the pressure has returned to zero
  • starchy foods may have absorbed the liquid during canning

It is best to follow guidelines set out by So Easy to Preserve, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, and other reliable sources such as Missouri Families or the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Contributor: Maude Harris, EdD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extention,

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