78 votes

What is the code for the rings stamped on the top of canned food?

There’s no hidden code in the rings, they are just there to stabilize the thin metal. A flat sheet is weaker and more flexible than one with ridges - the same reason why roof and wall metal is usually ...
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  • 53.9k
27 votes

What is the code for the rings stamped on the top of canned food?

Actually, there can be encoded information stamped into the can ends, but it's probably not what you're thinking it is. The presses which make the ends from sheets of metal usually contain multiple ...
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  • 637
24 votes
Accepted

Why don't they sell frozen tomatoes like other frozen vegetables and fruits?

Freeze one, thaw it and see. The liquid separates out and leaves a pulpy structure behind. Tomato sauce (no chunks) thaws much better and separated liquid can be stirred back in well enough. Canned ...
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  • 5,109
18 votes
Accepted

What is the padding with red substance inside of steak packaging?

That "padding" is an absorbent pad made of paper and plastic; the "red substance" inside is the juices (often mistakenly believed to be "blood") that have seeped out of the meat; the purpose of the ...
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  • 595
11 votes

How do I open a brand-new (plug-top) oval canister?

As described in the comments by Jolenealaska and rumtscho, the key to opening plug-tops is leverage; it "is like opening a can of paint." Use a butter knife, screw driver or any other object that is ...
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11 votes

Mousse de Canard, Mousse de Foie, Terrine de Campagne, expired by around 10 days

I'm sorry to say that your three packages are no longer safe for consumption. Expiry dates are usually pretty conservative and food may still be good several days past them, but the concerning factor ...
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  • 712
10 votes

Gases used in packaging food?

CO2 is carbon dioxide and N2 is Nitrogen gas. In either case, this is referred to as "Modified atmosphere packaging", which means the food is packaged in something other than simply "...
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  • 16.2k
9 votes
Accepted

What are Chicken Paws?

There actually seems to be a difference between a chicken paw and a chicken foot. According to a 23-page publication from the University of Pennsylvania: Chicken Feet = feet and shank Chicken Paws = ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What are certified synthetic colors?

The FDA recognizes 9. Here's how they put it on their official website: Certified colors are synthetically produced (or human-made) and used widely because they impart an intense, uniform color, are ...
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  • 58k
9 votes
Accepted

Why is there a sheet of paper in packages of minced meat?

The paper isn't for you. It's for the robots. Packaged ground meat like that is ground, portioned, and packaged automatically. The blocks of ground meat are formed by extruding them into an endless ...
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  • 20.1k
8 votes

Why don't they sell frozen tomatoes like other frozen vegetables and fruits?

They are :) (site in French). However, if you look at the reviews, the average customer isn't too pleased with the product, essentially for the reasons mentioned by @PatSommer (watery, poor texture, ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Refrigerate after opening, but why?

The canning process makes food safe: existing bacteria and fungi are killed, the intrusion of new pathogens is prevented by sealing the container. (More e.g. here.) As soon as you open the can or jar,...
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  • 53.9k
6 votes
Accepted

Tetrapaks vs. canned food

It depends on the damage to its layers. This is the layout of a tetrapak container: Now, obviously the container should not be considered safe if layers 1-3 are compromised. But small damage in ...
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6 votes

how to store rice for 12 hours so it doesn't dry out

For eating rice cold, I find it best to cool it by rinsing with cold water as soon as it's cooked. Then drain well, pack into a close fitting container, and refrigerate. It also works well if you plan ...
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  • 38.4k
6 votes

Why does industrially produced tagliatelle come in nests?

When making egg pasta at home if it's not used right away it's common to flour slightly and wrap into nests to dry. This is a simple and effective way to do dry your pasta without it hanging over ...
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  • 4,589
6 votes

Why is there a sheet of paper in packages of minced meat?

Can't tell from the picture, but in many places the "paper" is actually absorbent. It collects any juices, keeping things looking neat and tidy.
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  • 63.9k
6 votes
Accepted

Why does spinach come in an airtight bag?

The airtight bag has an atmosphere of mostly nitrogen. This displaces the oxygen in regular air, which in itself prevents decay but also reduces the moisture content which further prevents decay. ...
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  • 7,143
5 votes

how to store rice for 12 hours so it doesn't dry out

I have a sister-in-law who has gluten intolerance, so she travels with plastic storage bags with rice in them, in case she arrives at a destination or airport where non-wheat convenience foods are not ...
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  • 3,564
4 votes
Accepted

UK versus US expiration dates on diet sodas

First of all, sweeteners like Aspartame lose their sweetening property over time, as you have noticed yourself. This is very strongly tied to the pH level they are in. US and UK/EU coke (or any ...
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  • 3,069
4 votes

Why is butter usually labeled "Sweet Cream"?

Where I live in Germany it's common to find both types, and they're clearly marketed as two different things: the Süßrahmbutter (sweet cream butter) is sweeter and fattier than the Sauerrahmbutter (...
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  • 141
4 votes

Why don't they sell frozen tomatoes like other frozen vegetables and fruits?

There is no advantage to freezing over canning, and from many perspective there are disadvantages (discolouration, mushiness, overall general cellular destruction) The embodied energy required to can ...
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  • 24.8k
4 votes
Accepted

How do I open a brand-new (plug-top) oval canister?

That is generally what I thought this piece of a can opener was for (prying the lid off): As opposed to keeping a screwdriver or paint can opener in your kitchen.
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  • 476
4 votes

Refrigerate after opening, but why?

In addition to Stephie's safety answer, there is another reason: Many foods undergo undesirable flavor or texture changes due to reacting with the oxygen in the air (oxidation), losing or gaining ...
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  • 13.1k
3 votes

Why are holes punched into rice packages?

The bags are less likely to burst when the air can move in and out of them. Last thing you want is a bunch of bags to pop during shipping.
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3 votes

How do I open a brand-new (plug-top) oval canister?

To avoid damaging the rim (and making the can unable to reseal), I'd use a paint can opener, available for under a buck (or sometimes free!) from the local hardware store. A screwdriver or butter ...
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3 votes

Lyle's Golden Syrup tin design, why is it like this and how to clean it

The same issue exists with paint cans: the trough in the rim fills up with paint. Solution there: bang two or three nail holes in the trough so the paint can drain back into the can. The lid will ...
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3 votes

Lyle's Golden Syrup tin design, why is it like this and how to clean it

It is much simpler to dispense from cans of Golden Syrup if the tin is inverted, and the bottom pierced with a lever can opener - the sort that makes a triangular hole near the edge of the tin, ...
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  • 239
3 votes

Why is butter usually labeled "Sweet Cream"?

My paternal Grandmother (who lived in the mountains of North Carolina), had only one milk cow. Every morning and evening my Uncle would milk this cow. My Grandmother would skim off the cream and put ...
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  • 31
3 votes

Reuse of Food Grade Tins

Different types of tins are intended for storing different types of foods (dry crackers are very different from cheeses that contain some moisture). And as mentioned previously, linings can chip when ...
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  • 146
3 votes

Ice Cream Bar Wrapping Machine Suggestions?

There are many food grade presized "Cello"/"Cellophane" bags. They all use more modern plastics, but are continued to be called "Cello". Here is one that has an adhesive ...
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  • 228

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