Home bottling and canning

Be vigilant if you bottle excess fruit and vegetables because of the risk of botulism. Commercial canneries follow strict time and temperature heating schedules that are capable of killing the botulinal spores. In home bottling, such regimes are not possible. If you are bottling at home, stick to the high acid fruits such as pears, apples and stone fruit – acid (low pH) prevents the growth of the bacteria that causes botulism. If you bottle tomatoes, mango, paw paw, banana or any other tropical fruit you must add some citric acid. Vegetables can only be safely bottled if bottled in vinegar.

If you want to produce your own vegetables in oil or flavoured oils you can keep them refrigerated for up to 10 days. If you want to bottle them, you need to acidify the vegetables and any fresh herbs first.