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Home canning of foods is done using two processing methods based on the type of food being canned. Low acid foods, such as vegetables and all meats, must be pressure canned. High acid foods, such as most fruits, tomatoes, pickled foods, jams and jellies, are processed using a boiling water bath. This is based on the acidity, or pH, of the food. The dividing point is a pH of 4.6. Any food above 4.6 is a low acid food. Any food below 4.6 is a high acid food.

There are some fruits that are low acid. Examples are all melons, bananas, and papaya. Learn more from You Asked It!

Besides the pH, how canning preserves food is based on many other factors such as water activity, enzymes, microorganisms, moisture content and much more.

pH scale


Canning Low Acid Foods

Preserving Venison

peachesCanning High Acid Foods

tomatoesTomatoes and Tomato-based Products