This could be as essential a tool as a thermometer. Do you think my soup will be OK? Bonnie, were you following a tested recipe for the tomato soup? You can use lime or lemon juice as a preservative to prevent fruits like apples, bananas, avocados from turning brown. My daughter gets asthma symptoms from consuming citrus fruits (pure citric acid seems to not be a problem, it’s probably made in a lab, but I might try malic acid just to be on the safe side) and I was just trying to figure out what to do for low acid fruits. Class factotum, probably not. If I open a can and its below 4.5 am I correct to call them safe? And then your post. If desired, add up to 1 tablespoon of sugar per quart to offset acidic taste. When I develop new recipes, I prefer to have my tested result come in around 4.2 or lower, just to ensure that I’m not butting right up again the safe limit. Should I redo and add the lemon juice? What a great recipe. Just be aware that changing acids can affect the taste of the final product, which might be a good or a bad thing. Local Foods week is here August 9-15, and salsa might be a great way to start your home food preservation journey! Citric acid is sometimes made from corn, unless it specifies that it is “naturally derived citric acid”. That, or bottled lemon juice. If so, chances are probable that the jars are safe. However, if you invented the recipe, I would be concerned about the acid level in those jars. CFAES COVID-19 Resources:   Safe and Healthy Buckeyes   |   COVID-19 Hub   |   CFAES Calendar, Connecting The Ohio State University to Ohioans. STEP 1: … Chances are that your salsa is safe. I followed a very basic recipe of tomatoes, garlic cloves, fresh basil leaves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons lemon juice (quart jar); however, I used fresh lemon juice. I can’t find any information about acidity level on the bottle. Make sure to use vinegar of at least 5% acidity and bottled lemon juice. Do I need to toss these? The one I printed and used last summer (last August) just said 8 tablespoons of lime juice. The scientist in me wonders about the pH of store bought lemon juice. I have opened and eaten several jars months later and haven’t had any issues. The USDA guidelines for 5% vinegar and citric acid substitutions can be found here: . Canning is a fun way to involve the whole family and maybe even start a new tradition. Typically, when you use lemon juice to ensure acidity, you use bottled. I didn’t want my sauce to come out too sour! Here are a few reminders for a safe tomato product: *Select only disease-free, preferably vine-ripened, firm fruit. We work with families and children, farmers and businessowners, community leaders and elected officials to build better lives, better businesses and better communities to make Ohio great. The only times I use bottled lemon juice in jams is when I’m working with low acid fruits and need to make sure that there’s enough acid for safe canning. Now that my brain hurts, does anyone know the safe pH value for canned foods? And canned tomatoes are one of the easiest things to use later in the winter because they are a stand alone ingredient. *Process the recipe in a boiling water bath according to directions. Thank you for your generous, important info. Required fields are marked *. *Unripened tomatoes are more acidic than ripened fruit and can be canned safely with any of the following recommendations. *Canning whole cherry or grape tomatoes is not advised. And it doesn’t matter whether the lid is on the pot or not, as long as the water remains at a boil. © 2020 | 2120 Fyffe Road | Room 3 Ag Admin Bldg. Both offices are offering testing by appointment. An equal amount of lemon juice can be safely substituted for vinegar, but do not substitute vinegar for lemon juice as this could result in a potentially unsafe salsa. Hi Marisa, I just noticed today that your tomato jam recipe now says to use bottled lime juice. Meyer lemons aren’t as high in acid as conventional lemon juice. For pints, use 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon of citric acid. Sounds like you used half again as much lime juice as the recipe called for., Your email address will not be published. I made pasta sauce and forgot the lemon juice. Thanks. I love how versatile they are. […] Wondered why I couldn’t use fresh-squeezed lemon juice, so googled. If I mixed the mango with peach (not white peach), does it have to be re-done? Also, I have some freeze dried lemon powder that makes full strength lemon juice when reconstituted. I’ve had several calls about making salsa, so here are a few tips to help you make the best recipe yet. […]. What happened to the recipe? Or did I need to use the full 1 Tbsp? If you add it to the tomatoes while bringing them to a boil, you don’t know how much each jar gets. That most definitely includes the plastic squeeze bottle. You mention your watermelon jelly in this post and I know that I saw it on your site. We made watermelon jam this weekend. thanks and love and peace…lynnann. Three onions will have definitely pushed that recipe into an unsafe zone. The reason for this is that bottled lemon (or lime) juice has been uniformly acidified so that it has a consistent and dependable acid level. I also hot water bathed them for about 10 mins extra because I am neurotic. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and recipes! I just want to know if they’re ok? The answer I got was that there are no standard for bottled lemon juice in EU and that their lemon juice hade a pH between 2.0 and 2.7. An equal amount of lemon juice can be safely substituted for vinegar, but do not substitute vinegar for lemon juice as this could result in a potentially unsafe salsa. I used slightly less than 3/4 c fresh lime+lemon juice, rather than the 1/2 c bottled lime your recipe calls for. I have made 2 large vats of salsa recently and after doing the 2nd I realized it called for bottled lime juice. However, because it plays some a prominent flavor role in some of my preserves, I double the amount necessary for safety and call for fresh instead. Thank you so much for this post! Judging from the ingredients, I unfortunately think that recipe is probably too low in acid for safe canning. Can you interchange lemon and lime juice? i made the watermelon jelly last weekend and its wonderful. They are my bible. More to the point, the USDA recommends adding 1 Tb of lemon juice per pint of sauce. Actually, it is the same acidity (5%), unless you are using a specialty produce, but most people object to the flavor. and am wondering about that too. Tarc mentioned the use of malic or tartaric acid. I checked with a company who stated their product contained “naturally derived citric acid” and they replied their product does not include corn. Is there a way to make it that it is not so overly sweet the next time? Assuming you only recently canned the tomatoes, you should unseal them, add the 2 tbsp of lemon juice, then seal them again in a water bath. What type of pH strip are you using? I did not use lemon juice in any of them, but processed them in a water bath for 15 minutes. I just canned about 50 jars of various preserves, including fig, mango, blueberry, apple, raspberry, plum and peach. It is not recommended to use lemon juice (squeezed from a lemon) as lemons can vary in acidity. They say that 5% acidic vinegar is all right to use as acid in low-acid canning. Thank you. when you say “bottle lemon juice” and “bottle lime juice” do you mean only the kind in the large glass bottles? I did add a little extra lime juice in both recipes because I am new to canning and was nervous. Poor quality to begin with may yield poor quality salsa that is more likely to spoil. Thanks again! Add … We connect with people in all stages of life, from young children to older adults. That recipe includes double the amount of acid it requires to ward off any potential botulism. In this article, we will discuss this issue in more detail. The uptight foodie in me cringed at the thought of Real Lemon tainting my beloved canning creations. I got interrupted the other day in the middle of canning mango chutney… The jars were sterilized, filled with chutney, lids closed, then left for about three hours before I came back to put them into the water bath.