Does Sugar affect Acidity?

skeipOctober 25, 2010

Just used the last of the green tomatoes from the garden to make a GT Salsa. Flavor was excellent, but way too sour four my taste, so I added sugar to the mix to take the edge off the sourness. My question then is, will this affect the stability of the canned product? Recipe was 14c chopped tomatoes, 4c chopped onion, 5 minced jalapenos, 6 cloves garlic, 1 cup bottled lime juice, plus herbs and spices. I added about 1/2c white sugar. After cooking and jarring it was WB'd for 20 minutes for pints. TYIA


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readinglady(z8 OR)

No. If anything, sugar (assuming there's enough of it) improves the keeping qualities. (Sugar is a preservative.)

It doesn't change acidity or reduce safety. It just makes things taste sweeter.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 12:30PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sugar does not affect the pH of the foods directly, just the taste. So it tastes sweeter.

Adding the sugar poses so safety concerns.


PS: Recipe doesn't ring a bell. What was the source of the recipe? That is a lot of cups of tomatoes and onions for only 1 cup of acid.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 12:41PM
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It's a recipe I got from this site, but I don't know who to attribute it to. Here's the recipe I cut and pasted, with my addition of the sugar.

7 Cups chopped, cored, green Tomatoes
5 to 10 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 Cups finely chopped Red Onions
4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
ü Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Lime Juice
1/2 Cup loosely packed finely chopped Cilantro
2 Teaspoon ground Cumin, more to taste
2 Teaspoon dried Oregano
2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar and black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa. Process both sizes in a BWB for 20 minutes.
Makes about six 8-oz jars or 3 pint jars

Obviously I doubled the recipe to accommodate the amount of tomatoes I had to use. As I said, it's quite good, just a little sour for my taste.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 1:23PM
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I just did a quick search and found the original recipe posted by jcpyburn on Sept. 29, 2009. She indicates it is from the Ball Complete book, and says it is "very safe and very delicious".


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 1:28PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I think the confusion arose in part because the recipe calls for green tomatoes which are a good deal more acid than the tomatoes mentioned in the original post.

In this case the word green is a significant distinction.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 6:22PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes, green tomatoes are more acidic than ripe ones but they aren't 2x as acidic and that is double the cups of tomatoes per cup of acid than one usually sees. Thus my question about the source. ;)

It is always vary helpful to us if the source of a recipe is included in the post.

Since it is a Ball Complete Book recipe then yes, it is a tested and approved one. But if it had come from some place like or from some unknown source then I would be much less inclined to trust its safety.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 6:46PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Sugar is NOT a preservative unless in concentrations of over 50 % or more, as in a regular sugar jam/jelly. Otherwise it is only for flavor and makes no difference in ph levels.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:14PM
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