Information Letter


No. 128 Washington, D. C. September 5, 1925


Sauerkraut definition and standard Circular on process time issued 55 Inspector and physician exonerate can- Reopening of Wisconsin rate case asked .55 The canning industry's future 55

=6©Norwegian canning strike continues California ragus and spinach pack. .54 Freight subsidy on Australian canned Vitamin content of pineapple “a fruit exports “A mine of useful information” French sardine and tuna fish industries .56


Sauerkraut Definition and Standard

The Department of Agriculture, in Food Inspection Decision 196, has announced the adoption of the following definition and standard for sauerkraut:

“Sauerkraut is the clean, sound product, of characteristic acid flavor, obtained by the full fermentation, chiefly lactic, of properly prepared and shredded cabbage in the presence of not less than two per cent (2%) nor more than three per cent (3%) of salt.

“It contains, upon completion of the fermentation, not less than one and one-half per cent (1.5%) of acid, expressed as lactic acid. Sauerkraut which has been rebrined in the process of canning or repacking contains not less than one per cent (1%) of acid, expressed as lactic acid.”

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Inspector and Physician Exonerate Canned Peas

Several mid-western newspapers recently carried a story of an outbreak of “ptomaine poisoning” affecting six persons living onafarm. The illness was attributed to canned peas or sausage in some of the papers.

The report was apparently based solely on the supposition of those afflicted, who are rarely qualified to say what is the cause of their illness.

While the Association promptly put a man on the case, the outbreak was also investigated by the attending physician and State Food Inspector. They reported that sanitary conditions around the house were bad and that the illness was not due to canned food, but to potatoes cooked with milk and cheese, which were held over night and warmed up for breaktast.

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The editors of newspapers which published the incorrect story have had these findings brought to their attention, with an urgent request for a correction and a checking up of such reports in future before publication.

Canned Foods Week Electros

Electros reproducing the streamer to be used in the Canned Foods Week campaign this year are now available at a cost of 60 cents postpaid. The cut measures % by 3 inches. A number of canners in past campaigns have used the illustration on their letterheads and envelopes, and it has been quite effective in arousing interest in Canned Foods Week. Orders for the electro should be placed with the National Canned Foods Week Com- mittee, 1739 H St., N. W., Washington, D. C.

California Asparagus and Spinach Pack

The 1925 pack of asparagus in California was 1,744,999 cases, according to statistics compiled and issued by the Canners League of California. The pack of spinach was 1,805,537 cases, of which Northern California packed 1,700,433 and Southern California 105,104 cases.

Vitamin Content of Pineapple

In the July number of the Journal of Home Economics, Miss Carey D. Miller, of the Department of Household Science, Uni- versity of Hawaii, Honolulu, reports on the vitamin C content of fresh and canned pineapple. The relative amounts fed per day were 5 grams fresh and 7 grams of canned pineapple. Regarding the results, Miss Miller states, among other things:

“Since the amount of canned pineapple used was not exactly comparable to the fresh, a definite comparison is difficult, but as it was not possible to secure permanent recovery and growth on 5 grams of canned pineapple, it appears that there is some loss of vitamin C in the canning process.”

“This would seem to indicate that the vitamin C content of fresh pineapple juice is rather high, but not so high as that of canned tomato juice or orange juice.”

“The fresh pineapple appears to be a very good source of vitamin C and the canned product slightly less good.”

Last year Miss Miller reported on the vitamin A and B con- tent of fresh and canned pineapple and concluded that “both fresh and canned pineapple are good sources of Vitamin A and B.” Miss Miller found no evidence that vitamin A and B are ap- preciably affected in the canning process.








“A Mine of Useful Information”

The Association’s bulletin on “The Canning of Foods and Some Tested Recipes” has been favorably received in many differ- ent quarters. That it is of value to those concerned with food control is shown by a letter from a prominent state food official, who writes:

“Today I found time to read over more carefully the N. C. A. bulletin on ‘The Canning of Foods,’ and I find that it is a mine of useful information to the food control official. I do not know where else one could go to obtain such a wealth of accurate in- formation in such a convenient and compact form.”

Circular on Process Time Issued

With this issue of the Information Letter member canners will receive copies of Circular No. 13-L, which supersedes Cir- cular No. 7-L, giving process times for string beans and beets. Members are requested to destroy all copies of the old circular in their possession. Additional copies of Circular No, 13-L will be supplied on request.

Reopening of Wisconsin Rate Case Asked

A petition for reconsideration or reopening of the case in- volving rates on canned foods from Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc., to Eastern seaboard and Canadian points has been filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission by Chairman E. S. DePass of the National Canners Association Traffic Committee.

As noted in Information Letter No. 127, the Commission in its decision of August 11 found the rates proposed by the carriers not justified, but at the same time authorized the carriers to establish rates in accordance with those approved in the Com- mission’s findings. The rates thus authorized are, in general, increases over existing rates.

The Canning Industry's Future

How a “thin gray wall of steel and tin holds in check the forces of decay and makes harvest time last the year round” is described in an article by Prentice Winchell in the Iron Age for August 5. While the story is concerned chiefly with the perfection of the tin can as a food container, the writer does some figuring on the future of the canning industry.

“With 115,000,000 people in the United States using about 5,000,000,000 cans of food a year,” he says, “the average con- sumption is less than one can per week per person. Surely the ‘saturation point’, so much discussed by economists, has not been

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reached in this industry. Consumption of tin plate has jumped from less than 1,000,000,000 pounds in 1904 to well over 3,000,- 000,000 pounds last year, indicating an even greater per capita growth than that of the can industry. The use of miscellaneous containers for oil, tobacco, etc., has therefore increased more rapidly than the use of tin cans for food containers.

“Moreover, there is this hopeful fact to remember. These United States are the greatest canned food consumers in the world. Yet even here we eat less than one can per week per person, and there are many countries, especially those lying in the tropic zone, which must eventually come to a wider use of canned foods. It does not need a Canned Foods Week to explain to the South American the advantages of ever-fresh vegetables and fish and fruit.”

Norwegian Canning Strike Continues

A cable report to the U. S. Deparment of Commerce states that the strike in the Norwegian canning industry has not yet been settled.

The coast mackerel fisheries have been yielding very poorly this year and for this reason there will be no canning of mackerel. Norwegian shipments of canned fish products during the first six

months of 1925 amounted to 27, 940,000 pounds as compared with 37,620,000 pounds during the first half of 1924. Of the exports this year 11,440,000 pounds went to the United States and 5,940,- 000 pounds to Great Britain.

Freight Subsidy on Australian Canned Fruit Exports

The Australian Government has decided to grant a freight sudsidy to Australian canned fruits to enable the surplus produc- tion of the 1925 season to be sold in Great Britain in competition with California fruits, according to “The Produce Markets” of London. The subsidy is to be approximately 24 cents on a dozen 30-ounce tins of apricots and approximately 18 cents on a dozen 30-ounce tins of Clingstone peaches. The Commonwealth Ship- ping Line have made reductions in freight on charter basis.

French Sardine and Tuna Fish Industries

French canners of sardines and tuna fish are suffering from a combination of adverse conditions which gives them a rather pessimistic outlook for the immediate future, a report to the Department of Commerce states. Sardine fishing was commenced on the Brittany coast a month and a half late this season. The catches have been poor both as to quantity and quality.

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