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Canning -- Tomatoes

Is it safe to can tomatotes that have been frost bitten?

Rating: 100

If tomatoes are frost bitten do not can them, but rather make a cooked product like spaghetti sauce and freeze it. If other fruits or vegetables are frost bitten, preserve them as quickly as possible after the frost. Quality starts to deteriorate immediately. The freezing that occurs to the plant tissue during the frost permits enzymes to act upon substrates with which they normally have no contact. This starts deterioration which leads to off colors and flavors and changes in texture. It is best to harvest the produce before the frost.

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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