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Color Changes In Canned Food

After canning then it is time for eating! However, you’ve gone to the pantry only to discover that your canned food has changed from the bright colors when you first canned to a duller shade now. You don’t have to crinkle your nose and throw it out, we here at Blain’s Farm & Fleet have a list of common canning problems and solutions.

Canned Food Jars Didn’t Seal Properly

Proper sealing will not happen if your canning jars have little dents and nicks. This happens if there is food residue left on the rim of the canning jar when filled. If you have too much air or to little canning headspace, this can cause sealing problems and discoloration of your canned food. If you notice that your canning jars are not sealed properly within 24 hours, remove the lid and reprocess the canned food. Make sure to use a new canning jar and lid.

Canned Food in a Mason Jar
Have you gone to the pantry and noticed that your home canned food is looking dull? No worries, learn why color changes can happen and what you can do to prevent them.

Canned Food Darkened At The Top of Canning Jar

If there are too many air bubbles or too much headspace in your canning jars the canned food can begin to oxidize and darken. Luckily, this discoloration is generally not a sign of spoilage if the canning jars have been properly sealed. Make sure you always have a proper headspace by following the directions on the recipes. Another good rule of thumb is when canning high acidic foods; the headspace should be 1/2″. Canning jams, jellies, juices, and pickles, the headspace is 1/4″.

Color Changes Due To Chemical Reactions

Sometimes the color of our canned foods may change color from coming into contact with iron, zinc, or copper. The canned food is still edible but to solve this problem in the future use nonreactive materials when canning, such as stainless steel and plastic. If your home has hard water it can also cause color changes to canned food. If you are not sure, you can bring in a water sample to any Blain’s Farm & Fleet store and a store associate will do a free hard water test.

Cloudy Liquid In Your Canning Jars

If you notice that the liquid in your canning jars is cloudy this could be due to canning unripe foods. Salt and minerals in your water can also cause cloudiness. To correct this problem only use ripe vegetables when pickling and canning. Also use soft water when canning. If you still have cloudy liquid the food may be spoiled because of incorrect processing and unsafe to eat.

Learn more about canning and home preservation in our canning blog!


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