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Canning -- Fruits

Why do pears change color during canning?

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Pears may turn pinkish in response to several conditions. Pears contain leucoanthocyanins, colorless precursors to colorful anthocyanin pigments. Pear variety and handling techniques determine whether color changes will occur. Heating that occurs during canning or when pears or boiled in a syrup may enhance the conversion from leucoanthocyanins, to anthocyanins. The anthocyanins then combine with metallic ions to produce the pink color. There is no way to prevent this reaction that is harmless.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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