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Canning -- Miscellaneous

What are the "crystals" that I sometimes see in canned seafood?

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Sometimes a substance that resembles glass particles appears in canned seafood. If it isn't glass, it is probably struvite - crystalline magnesium ammonium phosphate. To determine if it is struvite, place some crystals in warm vinegar. The crystal of struvite will dissolve. They are not harmful.

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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