Lowacid And Acidified Foods

A low-acid food is a food that has a pH value greater than 4.6; an acid food is a food with a natural pH of 4.6 or below; and an acidified food is a low-acid food that has been treated to reduce the pH to 4.6 or below. The pH of a food is one of the most important parameters in determining the types of microorganisms that are capable of growing in the product. This in turn determines the types of processes that are appropriate to preserve that food. Although the terms low-acid food and acidified food do not in the strictest sense refer to canned foods, the terms are most frequently applied by the food industry to canned food products, and this will be the focus here. It should be noted that pH is not the only factor involved in preservation of canned foods. Reduced water activity, preservatives, and other factors may also be used in combination with heat to preserve foods; for some foods a heat treatment is not required because of the combinations of preservation. However, this article focuses on traditional low-acid and acidified canned foods.

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