(redirected from Canning industry)
Also found in: Dictionary.


canning, process of hermetically sealing cooked food for future use. It is a preservation method, in which prepared food is put in glass jars or metal cans that are hermetically sealed to keep out air and then heated to a specific temperature for a specified time to destroy disease-causing microorganisms and prevent spoilage. Low-acid foods, such as meats, are heated to 240°–265℉ (116°–129℃), while acidic foods, such as fruits, are heated to about 212℉ (100℃). Canning was invented in 1809 by Nicholas Appert. The process proved moderately successful and was gradually put into practice in other European countries and in the United States. Glass containers were used at first, but they proved bulky, costly, and brittle. Early canmaking was slow and expensive; sheets of tin were cut with shears, bent around a block, and the seams heavily soldered. A good tinsmith could make only about 60 cans a day. The industry began to assume importance with the invention in 1847 of the stamped can. Because of the food requirements of soldiers during the U.S. Civil War, considerable amounts of canned meats and vegetables were produced. Salmon from the Columbia River was canned in 1866 and salmon from Alaska in 1872. A machine for shaping and soldering was exhibited in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. The open-top can of the 20th cent., with a soldered lock seam and double-seamed ends, permits easy cleaning and filling. Cans used for foods that react with metals, causing discoloration (usually harmless), may be coated with a lacquer film. Highly specialized machinery, knowledge of bacteriology and food chemistry, as well as more efficient processes of cooking, have combined to make the commercial canning of food an important feature of modern life. The range of products canned has increased enormously and includes meat and poultry; fruits and vegetables; seafood; milk; and preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, and sauces. The general principles of commercial and home canning are the same, but the factory more accurately controls procedures and has highly specialized machinery. The Mason jar, popular in home canning, was patented in 1858. Home canning grew in popularity during World War II, when the harvest of “victory gardens” was canned. Canning leads to a loss of nutrient value in foods, particularly of the water-soluble vitamins. The home-canning methods recommended today are much more specific than the old-fashioned methods, which are no longer considered safe.


See A. C. Hersom and E. D. Hulland, Canned Foods (1981); C. Walker, The Complete Book of Canning (1982).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


(food engineering)
Packing and preserving of food in cans or jars subjected to sterilizing temperatures.
Placing a jacket around a slug of uranium before inserting the slug in a nuclear reactor.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Charles John, 1st Earl Canning. 1812--62, British statesman; governor general of India (1856--58) and first viceroy (1858--62)
2. his father, George. 1770--1827, British Tory statesman; foreign secretary (1822--27) and prime minister (1827)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Radcliffe, "Perspective on Children in Maine's Canning Industry, 1901-1911," Maine Society Quarterly 24 (Summer 1984): 362-391.
Readers will learn about sweet corn and the associated canning industry, how popcorn became a popular snack, and the leading roles that Midwesterners played in those events and processes.
As the political, environmental, and economic atmosphere that stimulated the canning industry waned, Kake's cannery joined others across the region in collapse.
This work was conducted to study the possibility of cultivating algae for use as fish feed using vegetable and fruit canning industry wastewater treatment effluent.
He announced a set of measures to assuage the hyper production of tomatoes in the country and said effort would be made to activate Macedonia's canning industry in the period ahead.
During the period 2011-2015 the government implemented an investment programme worth US$22.3 million to facilitate a technical upgrade of the country's canning industry. As a result of the investment programme, the Belarusian canning industry is expected to boost output by 6.7% by the end of 2015.
The Government exempted the customs duty for the canning industry red peppers import for 50 percent.
Navy beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are dry oval pea sized white haricot beans that are grown almost exclusively for the canning industry [1].
Tri Marine is mainly active in the fishing, trading and processing of tuna and other pelagic fish for the canning industry. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because the overlaps between the parties' activities in the supply of round tuna and tuna loins and the wholesale of canned tuna were very limited.
Starting out tilling the soil at a 50-acre family farm near the village of Ardooie in the 1950s, and working full time as a farmer until 1960, he initially raised crops to be supplied to the canning industry.
"Throughout Professor Dennis's career in food science and technology, he has dedicated himself to developing collaborative efforts between industry, government and academia." It also mentions his work in securing a government-funded energy conservation project for the canning industry, and in initiating industrial training for university students at Campden BR1.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry has expressed gratitude and is planning to swiftly move to accept the offer from the tiny low-lying country, which has received support from Japan in building embankments and promoting its canning industry.