How to Can Foods Successfully Despite Heat and Humidity

Food preservation is an essential aspect of ensuring food security. In tropical regions, where produce spoils quickly, and humidity is high, new techniques of canning food are necessary.

People use different approaches to preserving food in the humid tropics. Some rely on natural processes, such as storing food in the “fridge” of a cave. Other people pack crops like cassava in damp leaves and bury them to keep for future use. Still, others use modern techniques such as solar canning or pressure canning. The following are some of the most effective ways to can food in heat and humid areas.

Add Sugar

Sugar plays a vital role in canning food because it increases the sweetness and acidity of the food, which reduces spoilage. The sugar also cuts off the oxygen to bacteria by creating a sticky barrier. In addition, sugar inhibits pathogens such as botulism or salmonella.

However, sugar is not effective at preventing spoiling in all circumstances. Sugar does not retain its effectiveness if it is exposed to air for a long duration; it begins to lose its effects after some time.

Add Acid

Canning food with lemon juice is the most effective way to keep food from spoiling in heat and humidity. The acidic lemon juice cuts off oxygen to the bacteria, preventing spoilage in food.

It would help if you noted that some foods are susceptible to acid. For example, too much lemon juice may make certain fruits taste bitter or change their texture. Therefore, different acids must be used for different types of food.

Use Refrigeration

This is the right way to preserve food without worrying about heat and humidity and recommended by HVAC companies. It is easy, practical, and straightforward. It varies from one place to another, but a refrigerator can keep food for an extended period.

If you are using jars, rinse them with clean water before filling the jars. Be careful when filling the jars to avoid the formula inside spilling out. Fill the jars only half full with food to be adequately sealed. Store it in a cool, dry place to stay fresh for a long time.

Use a Pressure Canner

A pressure canner can reduce the risk of spoilage during pressure canning. A pressure canner uses higher temperatures and pressures than the traditional water-bath canner (which uses lower temperatures and pressures). It is a safe way to preserve food in heat and humidity.

Add Canning Salt

This is a method to preserve food in heat and humidity, though some chefs don’t recommend it. The salt lowers the pH of foods, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. However, adding salt also prevents flavors from developing in the food.

Freeze Foods in Ice Cubes, then Pack Into Tightly Packed Container Bottles or Jars

At least 4 inches of freezer space should be available for freezing. Freezing takes less than a minute and allows you to freeze foods in any state of preservation. Some products, such as vegetables and fish fillets, are better frozen after the cooling process is complete. Other products, such as meats and poultry, should be frozen at – 15F (- 25C) to – 20F (- 29C) after packaging.