I reside in Missouri and was wondering if anyone knew where I could purchase corn canning acid. My Amish neighbors recently moved here and we are unable to locate anywhere to purchase any corn canning acid. PLEASE HELP!q
Sorry, but that is not a safe method. It will not replace proper pressure canning of corn. You will put yourself at a risk of botulism by following the Amish methods.
Here is how to safely can corn.
Here is a link that might be useful: Safely canning corn.
You may wish to review this previous discussion on the hazards of using this product.
I know it was done for years, but corn is one of the highest risk products for botulism and use of 'corn acid' in home food canning has been prohibited for several years because of the documented risks in using it.
Please give strong consideration to updating your corn canning methods. Color and flavor can be preserved by using the product Fruit Fresh available at the grocery store and using it and then following the guidelines linked above by Linda Lou will insure you a safe end result.
Here is a link that might be useful: Corn acid safety discussion
Not that I question your expertise, Linda Lou or Dave; but I am curious as to why corn is such a high risk product for botulism
Combination of kernel shape, kernel and cob density, and its natural encapsulation is an ideal spore trap. Add sugar content, moisture content, pH and the anaerobic environment that can develop within the shucks while the kernels are forming. Since all corn is a hybrid, it has little natural competing bacterial flora to cope with any possible contamination. Sweet and super sweets are higher risk.
Add to that the density used by most when canning corn - they overpack the jars. If most went 1/2 and 1/2 corn and liquid it might be safer just like all the other density issues that come up but freezing is far safer and IMO results in a much better product.
Used to be when we oldies used corn acid the argument was that it was safe because we always boiled it hard before serving but as you know many don't cook their corn nearly long enough and that argument doesn't always hold up to testing either.
Per USDA: "Foods most associated with botulism include canned asparagus, green beans, garlic in oil, corn, corn syrup, soups, ripe olives, tuna fish, sausage, luncheon meats, fermented meats, salad dressings, and smoked fish."
If I read you correctly, Dave, the danger is that corn is more likely to pick up the botulism spores as it grows in the field.
Makes me glad I prefer the frozen stuff!
Just reviewed the '06 link on canning acid and I'm still confused. Are we talking about a method of canning corn or an acid (powder) used as fruit-fresh or ascorbic acid? I shop at Amish stores sometimes for things like this and have a jar of canning acid on the shelf. They said it was the same as fruit-fresh but I haven't used any yet. Nowhere does it say corn acid.
BTW, a friend has put a thin slice of tomato on top of the corn in the jar before processing. Said her mother and mother's mother, etc has always done it that way. They process according to modern methods otherwise. I wonder if it isn't to increase the acid? Gives a nice color and flavor to the corn, but not enough to justify it unless the tomato actually adds to the safety and acidity. Hmmm....
It appears corn canning compound/corn acid is used in two different ways, depending upon the canner.
Some have used it for generations as a way to "acidify" corn so they can boiling water bath the corn or reduce recommended processing times. I put that in the same category as canning green beans with vinegar. It doesn't make the product safe but usually people who can in this way also long-boil their product prior to consumption, reducing their risk.
The other use is to enhance crispness and color retention akin to Pickle Crisp or Fruit Fresh.
Since "corn acid" is mostly salicylic acid, you could crush aspirins and get the same effect - whatever that effect is.
I've canned plain corn and creamed corn in the past, but frozen corn to our taste is so superior I'm willing to allocate precious freezer space to it.
Are we talking about a method of canning corn or an acid (powder) used as fruit-fresh or ascorbic acid?
What has always been referred to as "corn canning acid" in my experience of old farm family canning, is a hand blend of acid powders, usually made up by a small local pharmacist. You used to buy it in paper packets or small glass jars at the local pharmacy. Sometimes a homemaker would just buy the ingredients - salicylic acid, abscorbic and citric acid, and various salts - make up her own blend. Haven't heard of it even being available for years except perhaps in isolated communities.
As Carol described, it was used to acidify corn so that it could supposedly be safely processed as either open-kettle or in a BWB rather than pressure canned and you can still find those directions in many old cookbooks. One of the side effects of using it was help in keeping a brighter color and crispness.
I assumed that is what the OP was asking about.
However, its use is not approved for safety and hasn't been for years. SO, as alternative many add Fruit Fresh to the corn to get the keep-the-color benefit and then pressure can the corn as is now recommended.
The Fruit Fresh is just for color preservation. It does NOT add any safety to the process.
Hope this helps clarify.
Corn relish? All vineger brine with salt. A few sweet red pepper pieces for some color. Pressure can.. They do oxidize so ascorbic can help reduce the browning.
Corn canning acid is added before pressure canning because it's supposed to keep the whole corns crisp texture.
What are the ingredients of this corn canning acid you are referring to?
Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride) can be used for crispness but it is the only approved additive.
Believe it or not, I found a 1912 canning bulletin from Georgia State Agricultural College which says the following:
These materials are known as acid or preserving powders and are composed of benzoate of soda, salicylic acid and other like materials. Their sole benefit lies in the fact that they are germicides and will kill the life in the cans; they act against living protoplasm and it has been shown that they are more or less injurious to the body. Experiments have demonstrated that an adult individual can eliminate, without great harm, small quantities of these materials from the body but long continued use is apt to prove serious, and for children the use is dangerous.
The same results can be obtained by sufficient heat, and there is no reason to use chemicals that may be injurious and that foster negligance and uncleanliness on the part of the operator.
Nothing new under the sun.
Good info Carol. Thanks for posting it. If it wasn't recommended in 1912 it sure wouldn't be recommended in 2012. :)