Do I need to add citric acid to can tomato sauce if I used tomatoes from a can with citric acid? I want to prevent botulism and such and need higher acidity to can my tomato sauce but I figured my tomatoes would already be acidic enough since they were canned with citric acid in the first place.

I would be boiling my sealed glass jars, not pressure cooking.

To clarify, I will be buying canned tomatoes that have citric acid already added, and I will be cooking these and making a tomato sauce, which I will then can myself.

  • 1
    Hi, I don't understand your question. Are you adding acid to your sauce before consuming it? Or are you opening a dose of canned tomatoes, processing them into sauce, then canning the result again?
    – rumtscho
    Feb 27, 2023 at 8:13
  • 1
    And assuming you're canning... something... will you be pressure-canning it?
    – Sneftel
    Feb 27, 2023 at 11:54
  • @rumtscho sorry for the confusion. Yes canning sauce using canned tomatoes.
    – Behacad
    Feb 27, 2023 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


The only way you can know this for sure is to do a pH test of the resulting sauce. If it's 4.6 or lower, you don't need to add citric acid.

pH tests are fairly affordable and available both online and from any retalier who sells canning supplies. Even if you've already done the canning, you can sacrifice one jar and test it and know if the rest of the jars are OK.

Note that the circumstance you describe is extremely low-risk, so many folks wouldn't even bother to test. However, our official policy on SA is to give advice according to published health codes.

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