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Canned fish: health and taste

Fish is a perishable product, and certainly one of the most exposed to the action of bacteria. Fortunately, times have changed and we are much more confident about taking it. However, we should not forget that canned fish is a healthy, safe and comfortable way to enjoy this food, because we can taste it whenever we want, anytime, anywhere.

The preservation of food has been a constant obsession in the history of man. The hard times of famine or crop failures forced some families to keep food supplies, requiring a need to first find a way for perishable products to resist putrefaction for longer periods of time.

A little bit of history

Canned fish

Canned fish

As early as the Neolithic man knew to use cold and ice to keep food. He also realized that the salt and oil can not only add flavor to the food but also serve to preserve it. Egyptians, for example, were considered major exporters in smoked fish, another famous conservation method. However, some methods just were not completely safe.

In XIX century, Napoleon considered wars were won by better fed armies. So, following another campaign Bonaparte ordered to promote research in the field of conservation, Nicolas Appert discovered that the oil was especially useful for keeping fish. Their research would be born the industrial process of ‘appertisation’ (canning).

At first it was preserved in glass: Englishman Peter Durand subsequently appealed to tin to make new packaging preserves. This material allowed fish to last longer, it has more resistant (in comparison with glass) and kept all the vitamins, since the light does not affect the product.

Preservation process

Preservation process

Preservation process

Most people got already used to store canned fish at home, both to cook it and enjoy it whenever you desire. Thanks to various thermal processes, we can now enjoy sardines, mussels, tuna, razor clams and a long list of seafood anytime we want.

When fish arrives at the factory, first of all, it gets cleaned off its guts.
Then it is subjected to a process of precooking in which procedures are carried out heat exchange, both through steam or hot air, canned or grill. Thanks to this system, the fish loses water and reduces its dimensions: a change, for example, for sardines is quite obvious, since they often lose up to 30% of their weight.

Then oil (olive, sunflower or other) or sauces (pickled American sauce, tomato, in ink, spicy scallop sauce) are added to the fish in cans. Then follows a process of sterilization and storage, during which the product matures.

Nutritional benefits

Nutritional benefits

Nutritional benefits

Fresh fish is very nutritious as well as canned one. The industrial process does not alter the nutritional composition of food, so it keeps all the vitamins and minerals intact. By not providing the light to the contents of the can, the photosensitive nutrients (vitamins A, K and folic acid) are not lost over time.

In the case of oily fish such as sardines or tuna, the beneficial actions involve its fatty acids, add heart-healthy properties also incorporating oleic acid oil used for the sauce. Both the blue fish omega 3 fatty acids and olive oil can largely prevent heart disease.

Furthermore, the cooking temperature changes do not affect the nutritional properties of the product and make starches and proteins hydrolyze, which improves the digestion of food.

Lots of advantages for the consumption of canned fish: comfort, safety, hygiene, nutrition and flavor. Moreover, in the kitchen, canned fish allows numerous dining options and is ideal for making refills, salads, pasta and accompanying rice and, of course, to enjoy it alone, as a starter or snack.

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