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Thread: Canned Foods - Indefinite Shelf Life

  1. #1
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Default Canned Foods - Indefinite Shelf Life

    Many survival targeted websites sell "long-term storage" foods at exhorbitant prices. Many foods we consume regularly can be stored indefinitely as well, and for a fraction of the price.

    For example, the following is an excerpt from: http://www.hormelfoods.com/faqs.aspx#can4

    "What is the shelf life of a Hormel Foods product in an unopened can?

    The processing techniques utilized by Hormel Foods makes the canned product safe for use indefinitely if the product seal remains intact, unbroken and securely attached to a can that has been well maintained. It is suggested that all canned products be stored in a cool and dry environment to keep the flavor adequately preserved. For maximum flavor it is recommended that the product be used within three years of the manufacturing date. After that period of time, the product is still safe to use however, the flavor gradually declines."


    These products include the following among many others:

    Dinty Moore Beef Stew
    Dinty Moore Chicken Stew
    Hormel Corned Beef
    Hormel Corned Beef Hash

    Many other products from other manufacturers will also store just as well as the high-priced "long-term" items. Research your favorites on the web before you purchase and you may save $$$$$.
    Last edited by Ken; 03-12-2009 at 07:16 PM.
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Good info - thanks.
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    Senior Member Runs With Beer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Many survival targeted websites sell "long-term storage" foods at exhorbitant prices. Many foods we consume regularly can be stored indefinitely as well, and for a fraction of the price.

    For example, the following is an excerpt from: http://www.hormelfoods.com/faqs.aspx#can4

    "What is the shelf life of a Hormel Foods product in an unopened can?

    The processing techniques utilized by Hormel Foods makes the canned product safe for use indefinitely if the product seal remains intact, unbroken and securely attached to a can that has been well maintained. It is suggested that all canned products be stored in a cool and dry environment to keep the flavor adequately preserved. For maximum flavor it is recommended that the product be used within three years of the manufacturing date. After that period of time, the product is still safe to use however, the flavor gradually declines."


    These products include the following among many others:

    Dinty Moore Beef Stew
    Dinty Moore Chicken Stew
    Hormel Corned Beef
    Hormel Corned Beef Hash

    Many other products from other manufacturers will also store just as well as the high-priced "long-term" items. Research your favorites on the web before you purchase and you may save $$$$$.
    Good post, Thank you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    I just looked at Del Monte foods, Although they do not use the word indefinitely, their statement below, Would imply as long as the container is in good condition the food would be ok.

    What is the shelf life of Del Monte® canned products?
    As a guideline, Del Monte® canned products have a shelf-life of about 2-½ to 3 years from the date of production. This assumes the can isn't dented or damaged, and the product is stored under normal conditions. After that time, the color, flavor and texture of the food may begin to deteriorate, although the contents would still be safe. Incidentally, we do recommend that any swollen or leaking containers be discarded, regardless of their age.



    Thanks for posting Ken,
    Karl

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    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    CANNED FOOD SHELF LIFE: EXTREME EXAMPLES


    "The steamboat Bertrand was heavily laden with provisions when it set out on the Missouri River in 1865, destined for the gold mining camps in Fort Benton, Mont. The boat snagged and swamped under the weight, sinking to the bottom of the river. It was found a century later, under 30 feet of silt a little north of Omaha, Neb.

    Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.

    The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values "were comparable to today's products."

    NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.

    The canning process is a product of the Napoleonic wars. Malnutrition was rampant among the 18th century French armed forces. As Napoleon prepared for his Russian campaign, he searched for a new and better means of preserving food for his troops and offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could find one. Nicolas Appert, a Parisian candy maker, was awarded the prize in 1809.

    Although the causes of food spoilage were unknown at the time, Appert was an astute experimenter and observer. For instance, after noting that storing wine in airtight bottles kept it from spoiling, he filled widemouth glass bottles with food, carefully corked them, and heated them in boiling water.

    The durable tin can--and the use of pottery and other metals--followed shortly afterwards, a notion of Englishman Peter Durand. Soon, these "tinned" foods were used to feed the British army and navy.

    The canned food principle that won Nicolas Appert his prize of 12,000 francs has endured over the years. What might surprise Appert, however, is how his discovery is making food shopping and storing easier for the 20th century consumer.

    Those who order coffee at fast food restaurants now also are served canned half-and-half, which has been transported and stored without concern about refrigeration. Hikers can take flexible pouches of canned food on backpacking trips without having to worry about saving water to reconstitute freeze-dried meals. And, in this society of microwave owners, Americans who don't have time to prepare a well-balanced meal can pick up a plastic container filled with a canned, nutritious dinner."



    From: The Canning Process: Old Preservation Technique Goes Modern by Dale Blumentha in FDA Consumer magazine, Sept 1990
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
    General John Stark

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    They discovered commercially canned foods in basements in houses that were canned at the turn of the last century and from various years throughout the 20th century. All were tested to see if they were both safe to eat and fit to eat(meaning still be appealing) To the scientsits' suprize even the oldest vegetables while having lost approximately 10 -15% of their nutritional value were still palatable enough for consumption with the only complaint being a slight loss of color. I personally have eaten canned good over 20 years old and can attest that it was still as good as a new can. This of course is only true if the can's structural integrity has not been compromised and the can is not swollen and if the temperature has been fairly close to constant. Freeze and thaw over and over usually results in micro fractures due to metal fatigue. Any canned goods bought this year will still be eatable when your grandchild are your age IF the criteria are met, probably even when their children are your age too.

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    OH and just in case you didn't know....Honey is the only food on our planet that NEVER spoils. It will dehydrate over time but if reconstituted it will taste just like it did when the bee first nade it. Also honey is a natural antibiotic. Ancient people found putting honey on scratches and cuts kept them from putrifying(as they called it in earlier times).
    I have personally tasted honey from Isreal that was 4000 years old. It was an awe inspiring part of my training as a chef. I am not ashamed to admot I actually wept a bit at the astonishing realization that it was gathered from a hive in the time of Moses.

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