Canning Mangos

Canning Mangos

By Noris Ledesma, Curator of Tropical Fruit 

Canning involves the natural enzymatic breakdown of fruit by heating fruits in a liquid medium inside a closed container. This method requires more knowledge of food preservation. The recommended method of canning fruit is the water-bath.

PH: Fruits with a pH of 4.0 to 4.5 (such as mangos, papayas, figs) should have acid added to packing medium to obtain a pH below 4.0. One-fourth cup lime or lemon juice per pint is enough to make the needed pH adjustment.

Processing fruit: Fruit and all the equipment to be used should be washed thoroughly prior to commencing work. It is preferable to use fresh fruit over frozen. Make sure to remove all seeds first.

Jellies, jams, butters, marmalades and preserves are fruit preserved with sugar and usually jelled to some extent. Their individual characteristics depend on the kind of fruit used, the mixture, and the method of cooking.

Cooking times and methods vary according to the product being made.  When making preserves without commercial pectin, combine the fruit or juice with sugar and cook to the

Jelly: is made from fruit juice and should be clear and tender, yet firm enough to holds its shape.

Jam: is made from crushed or ground fruit. It is smooth and thick, slightly softer than jelly and still holds it’s shape.

Butter: is made of fruit pulp that is cooked to a smooth and very thick consistency. It can be sweet or spiced.

Marmalade: is made of pieces of fruit pulp and rind evenly suspended throughout a clear jelly. Citrus fruits are commonly used, either alone or in combination with other fruits.

The temperature or consistency recommended, or to the jelly point. If you like your product firmer, lengthen the cooking time, for a softer product, shorten it. Overcooking it is also causes darkening of preserves and a taste and odor of caramelized sugar. Be careful not to overcooking the fruit.

Preserves: are whole fruits or large pieces of fruit cooked in thick sugar syrup until the fruit is tender and somewhat transparent in appearance.

Sterilization: The objective here, is to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms that may spoil food, by heating the mixture. Special canning jars with self-sealing lids should be washed in hot soapy water. Lids must be new. Place clean jars in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil jars for at least 10 minutes to sterilize.

Filling and sealing jars: When the fruit is ready for canning, remove a hot, sterile jar from the water with tongs, and ladle the fruit into the jar. After jars are filed, wipe away anything on the threads of the jar, or anything that has spilled on the outside with a clean damp cloth. Place lid on jar and screw tightly. Invert jar for about 30 seconds so hot jelly can destroy molds or yeast, which may have settle on the lid. Return jar to an upright position and allow it to cool. When the jar has completely cooled, check the seal to be sure it is secure. If the center of the lid is indented slightly, the jar is sealed.

Most often the seal is completed as the jar cools, and you will hear a familiar “ping” sound as the center of the lid inverts when a vacuum is formed. If the seal is not complete, bring the contents of the jar to a boil and re-pack using a clean, hot, sterile jar and a new lid.