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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).

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(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 ?
Mrs Cannings said: "We had dust sheets everywhere and literally didn't have anywhere for people to sit." Mr Cannings said: "It's just the way we are - we don't really worry about things or make a drama," he added.
During the wait, Mr Cannings carried the ticket around in his wallet but said he was not worried about keeping it safe.
Describing the moment he realised his choice of the numbers 15, 16, 23, 39, 48 and 59 matched the winning numbers, Mr Cannings said: "I said 'Bloody hell - we've got the whole lot'.
The Angela Cannings Foundation was launched by the Justice for Families lobby group, which is calling on the Government to reformthe way medical experts are used in court.
THE Home Office has refused to compensate Angela Cannings, who saw three of her babies suffer cot death before being wrongfully jailed for killing two of them.
THE son of murdered Cotwolds bookmaker John Cannings has revived a family tradition by opening his own betting shop in the Oxfordshire town of Chipping Norton, writes Graham Green.
ACTRESS Sarah Lancashire (below) is to play the role of Angela Cannings, the mother wrongly jailed for killing two of her babies, in a new BBC1 drama.
Angela Cannings says that she has been 'permanently scarred' by her experience and attacks Professor Sir Roy Meadow for assuming she was a murderer.
Angela Cannings says in an ITV interview, to be broadcast tonight, that she has been "permanently scarred" by her experience and attacks Professor Sir Roy Meadow for assuming she was a murderer.
Tragic mother Angela Cannings was waking up a free woman today after being cleared of killing her two sons.
ANGELA Cannings walked free from a life jail sentence today after she was cleared of murdering her two baby sons.
KILLER mum Angela Cannings was yesterday jailed for life for murdering her baby sons - nine years apart.