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Old 15-11-2013, 13:10   #1
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Possible Fiid Preservation?

One of my readers says he preserves food by sealing it in a vacuum bag and giving it 20 minutes in the pressure cooker at 15 pounds. No way could I pass along this tip, even if it appeared to for work me personally, without verification from some expert that it's completely safe. Can anyone express an opinion on the safety of the food itself or whether the process itself could cut loose some unwanted toxins in the bag?
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Old 15-11-2013, 13:20   #2
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Re: Possible Fiid Preservation?

As a kid growing up with my Mother always canning foods the main procedure was to cook the food first and seal it while it was still hot. I use to put the lids on the hot jars and tighten them up and then wait for the pop of the lid before moving them. If the lid didn't pop then it went back in the cooker.

There is all kinds of info on the net. Here's a start>>> Home Pressure Canner Directions: How They Work, Instructions and Tips to Using Them!

As for bagging they would have to be heat resistant. We didn't have bags back then, just glass jars.
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Old 16-11-2013, 06:28   #3
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Re: Possible Fiid Preservation?

Isn't that the way packaged needles etc are sterilized in autoclaves?

btw love 'Cooking on the Go,' thanks!
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Old 16-11-2013, 07:20   #4
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Re: Possible Fiid Preservation?

Janet,

We've been using a Foodsaver for years, both at home and on the boat. Great product!

According to the Foodsaver website, their bags are made of polyethylene with a coating of Nylon on the outside for stiffness. Polyethylene will not produce any harmful products when heated to the temperatures found in a pressure cooker, so that wouldn't be an issue. No bisphenyl A or anything like that. The temperatures in a pressure cooker reach about 121* C (250* F), so not all that high, actually.

I'm not a food scientist or microbiologist, so I can't assure you that treating the vacuum-sealed food bags in a pressure cooker would render the food as safe as if done in glass jars, but I suspect that it would, simply because the only difference is plastic versus glass. The temperature attained is what sterilizes the food and packaging.

We've extensively used our Foodsaver to make dinners for offshore passages, but we've always frozen them after sealing--never tried the pressure cooker trick. On one passage, on a friend's boat, we were dealing with an engine driven fridge (no freezer). The dinners had been frozen when we put them in the fridge, but slowly thawed over the five days before the engine failure, at which point they warmed up to ambient temperatures. We (four guys) continued to eat them with no ill effects, but I have to report that the last one (ratatouille, so no meat) was a bit "fizzy" after being warm for five days. Nobody died, so all was good. We switched to freezed dried rations like the owner had used in Viet Nam after that. Now, that was truly awful!

You might want to contact Foodsaver about using their product for "canning". They may have done some studies, who knows.
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