General References

R. B. Alfin-Slater and D. Kritchevsky, eds., Human Nutrition. A Comprehensive Treatment, Vol. 7, Plenum Press, New York 1991.

C. Ip et al., eds., Dietary Fat and Cancer, Alan R. Liss, New York, 1986.

M. J. Hill, A. Giacosa, and C. P. J. Caygill, eds., Epidemiology of Diet and Cancer, Ellis Horwood Ltd., Chuchester, W. Sussex, England, 1994.

F. L. Meyskins, Jr., and K. N. Prasad, eds., Vitamins and Cancer,

Humana Press, Clifton, N. J., 1986. I. R. Rowland, ed., Nutrition, Toxicity, and Cancer, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., 1991.

David Kritchevsky The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Food safety and spoilage have been the major issues of the canning industry since its beginnings in the early 1900s. Preventing food from spoilage during storage was indeed a major reason that the canning industry came to be. However, at the turn of the twentieth century there was little or no scientific knowledge, as we know it today, about canning processes. In the late 1700s, Nicolas Appert in France found a "new" way to preserve food for the armed forces that involved corking bottles filled with food and heating them in boiling water. Not until Pasteur's work in 1864 was the relationship between food spoilage and microorganisms discovered. Several other developments in following decades then brought necessary components together to make use of this new knowledge. The science of bacteriology in the late 1800s to early 1900s provided information about specific bacteria and their growth characteristics. Inventions related to thermocouple technology by 1920 and subsequent determination of mathematical methods for calculating sterilization processes laid the foundation for today's safety standards and regulations in the canning industry.

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