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Discolored preserves and jams

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I recently discovered a stash of home-made preserves and jams that seem to have discolored over time. Does this discoloration affect the quality of the food? What causes it? The jars were stored in a cupboard adjacent to a refrigerator; could this affect the quality?
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferryman View Post

I recently discovered a stash of home-made preserves and jams that seem to have discolored over time. Does this discoloration affect the quality of the food? What causes it? The jars were stored in a cupboard adjacent to a refrigerator; could this affect the quality?


Somehow, in the canning process, you may have inadvertently got a micro-organism into the jam. It happens. I have the same problem when canning peaches and pears in the fall.  When doubt........throw them out!

post #3 of 7

If there were microorganisms, wouldn't the tops no longer be inverted?  if they pop when you open i'd think they'd be fine.  I think the problem is light and/or heat.  I've eaten jam i made that got a little darker and it was fine, as i am alive to attestsmile.gif

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 7

Siduri -- No!  You must have missed that day in school.  Not all toxic micro-organisms produce gas and invert a sealed dome.  Discoloration can mean many things.  It's true that not all of them are bad, but a few are potentially catastrophic.  Why take the risk?

 

Chefross is absolutely right! 

 

When in doubt, throw it out

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/25/12 at 9:31am
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Siduri -- No!  You must have missed that day in school.  Not all toxic micro-organisms produce gas and invert a sealed dome.  Discoloration can mean many things.  It's true that not all of them are bad, but a few are potentially catastrophic.  Why take the risk?

 

Chefross is absolutely right! 

 

When in doubt, throw it out

 

BDL

I guess i wasn't in doubtsmile.gif.  .  And I missed the whole course, not just the day.  My reasoning was that between the acid of the fruit and the sugar it was pretty safe.  Not?
 

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 7
"I guess i wasn't in doubt:) .  .  And I missed the whole course, not just the day.  My reasoning was that between the acid of the fruit and the sugar it was pretty safe.  Not?"

NO! that alone is not acidic enough to be sterile fruit expires right? So why shouldn't cooked fruit with some sugar it will still expire. DO NOT EAT...yes when in doubt...throw it out ASAP
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anime Shefu View Post


"I guess i wasn't in doubt:) .  .  And I missed the whole course, not just the day.  My reasoning was that between the acid of the fruit and the sugar it was pretty safe.  Not?"
NO! that alone is not acidic enough to be sterile fruit expires right? So why shouldn't cooked fruit with some sugar it will still expire. DO NOT EAT...yes when in doubt...throw it out ASAP


You may be right, but the fact that fruit expires is irrelevant here - of course fruit expires, but that's why when there is a lot of it, it's preserved in jam - it's not cooked with "some" sugar, it's cooked with it's own weight in sugar.  That's one lot of sugar.  And jam is made with underripe fruit, which has more acidity than ripe fruit. 

There may be other reasons why it might be dangerous, but not that fruit expires.  By that reasoning,  jam should be thrown out in a week, when the fruit it's made from expires. 

Also, when fruit expires it ferments, and produces alcohol.  It still doesn't give you life-threatening diseases.  Or does it?

 

If the seal is unbroken and it's just discolored, my guess is that it's something to do with the light affecting the color through the glass. 

 

I'd be interested in one of our science experts to give an explanation.  I know there are guidelines for jam, but they take into account the extremes (when people haven't sterilized properly, when the seal is broken, when it may not have been made correctly) - the guidelines are always more cautious.  But is jam made with half fruit half sugar, cooked completely (without added pectin, so cooked really completely in order to jell) and poured into sterile jars that have been boiled for more than ten minutes (along with the ladle that is used to put it in the jars and the tongs used to pull them out) and they're left in the hot water till ready to fill with boiling jam, then sealed, is that jam dangerous? or will it just, at worst, taste bad?   I have some three-year old jam stored and don't want to throw it out if i don;t have to.  Been eating it like that for years. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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