I'm so glad you could stop by. This is my personal blog of daily life and my journey through life. You will find a strong emphasis on family and friends as well as finding my ancestors through genealogy. Unlike my other blogs this blog is more of a catch-all so any topic is fair game.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Little Knowledge Can Be a Huge Problem

Sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous.  I'm on a canning group because I am a large scale home canner, canning upwards of 1.400 jars of food annually.  In the canning world acidity is a huge issue but the problem is many home canners really don't understand acidity as measured by the pH of the homogeneous product prior to processing.  The pH (not ph or PH!!!!!) scale ranges from 0 to 14 with pH 0 being most acidic and pH 14 being most alkaline (basic).  For safe BWB processing the pH of the product must be below pH 4.6 otherwise the product is considered low acid so must be processed using a pressure canner.

Well, one member posted an article acidity of a particular fruit.  I have a very strong scientific background so caught the error simply by reading the title of the paper.  The thing is, it was a scientific paper discussing the acidity level of one acid in the fruit NOT the total acid.  What this means is even though the fruit could have a high content of that particular acid, it could actually end up being classified as being low acid when the total acidity is considered.  Essentially telling someone to go ahead and BWB that fruit based on that scientific paper is akin to getting them to play Russian roulette with their lives.  In this case the lack of knowledge of being able to understand what the paper was saying combined with the little knowledge that acid is important in home canning really could have caused someone to become ill or worse if they followed the misinformation!

Garden Gnome

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