Effect of processing and storage conditions upon canned apple sauce headspace gas composition

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute

The relationships between headspace gases in canned apple sauce and storage time and temperature, food pH and consistency, and headspace vacuum and volume were studied. The apple sauce processing method used essentially duplicated commercial procedures. Canned apple sauce was stored at l00°F for 7 or 10 months, and sampled for headspace gases with a modified Zahm air tester. Procedures were developed for sampling for chromatographic analysis gas from cans with high vacuum and small headspace, and for calculating gas volumes.

A minimum headspaoe hydrogen was observed in samples within the pH range 3.45-3.75, in products of consistency within the range common to the Virginia commercial apple sauce, and in cans with higher vacuum. Maximum carbon dioxide content was noted in samples having a pH value of 3.45. Samples with more fluid consistency had more headspaoe carbon dioxide than those of higher consistency. Variations in headspaoe carbon dioxide content occurred in direct proportion to headspace size, and trends could not be associated with can vacuum. Oxygen was generally 1.2-1.9 percent of the headspace gas. Carbon monoxide was present in all samples in very small amounts.