Nutritional value in home canned foods

Home canned foods bring nutritional value throughout the year.

There is substantial nutritional value in home canned products. Any time foods are processed some nutritional value is lost but canning is still a worthwhile endeavor. Proper canning procedures need to be followed when processing any foods that are being preserved for later use.

It is always important to start any food preservation project with good quality produce. What you put in the jar is what you get out of the jar, meaning no bruised or rotting fruits or vegetables should be used. Produce begins to deteriorate as soon as it is harvested. So, the sooner you process the food after harvest, the better quality and nutritional value there will be in the foods you are preserving. There is some loss of nutritional value when foods are processed just because of the intense heat that it takes to safely process foods.

When storing home canned foods, always keep them in a dimly lit area where it is cool and dry, sunlight and warmth can break down the nutritional value of the food. Sun, light and warmth can also change the color and texture quality of the food you spent time preserving for future use. Also, the longer a jar of canned produce is kept the more loss of nutritional value there is. However, produce that has been harvested, stored and processed correctly and quickly can have more nutritional value than fresh produce that is improperly handled.

Yes, there is some loss of nutritional value in home canned foods compared to eating freshly harvested produce but canned foods can be more nutritious than fresh foods that have traveled long distances to your market. Michigan State University Extension recommends preserving produce correctly and using good quality produce.

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