2008-10-16 / Local & State

Online Booklet Makes Apple Preservation Delicious, Easy, Fun

Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest producer of apples in the United States, and since many Pennsylvanians will be taking advantage of this delicious fact this fall, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences offers helpful apple preservation and cooking tips through its online booklet, "Let's Preserve: Apples."

Produced by the Department of Food Science, the booklet is part of the 14-publication "Let's Preserve" series, which provides advice on how to safely can, freeze and preserve fruits and vegetables. Each booklet focuses on one fruit, vegetable or home food-preservation topic. The series, found online at http://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu/lets_prese rve.html - provides instructions in a simple, recipe-style format that takes the guesswork out of food preservation.

"Let's Preserve: Apples" covers everything from freezing and canning apples to recipes for the perfect apple butter. The booklet also helps people to use proper procedures for avoiding canning mistakes and keeping their food safe.

"It is safer to use apples picked from the tree, and to avoid using 'drops,'" says Penn State food safety specialist Martin Bucknavage.

"Apples on the ground are more susceptible to the growth of molds that increase the risks of mycotoxins, which are potent toxins produced by several mold species. The key to safe preservation is to always use sound fruits and vegetables."

"Let's Preserve: Apples" also suggests using crisp, firm apple varieties for freezing and includes a chart that shows each apple variety's texture and availability by month. For canning, apple varieties that will keep their shape and texture during the procedure are best. The publication notes that canned food always should be consumed within a year to ensure food safety.

Additional information about preserving homegrown fruits and vegetables is available by contacting your local Penn State Cooperative Extension office or by visiting the Penn State Food Safety Web site at http://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu.

Single copies of "Let's Preserve: Apples" can be obtained free of charge by Pennsylvania residents through county Penn State Cooperative Extension offices, or by contacting the College of Agricultural Sciences Publications Distribution Center at 814-865-6713 or by e-mail at AgPubsDist@psu.edu. For cost information on out-of-state or bulk orders,contact the Publications Distribution Center. The publication also is available on the Web athttp://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu/lets_p reserve.html.

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