Have you ever experienced that moment when you open your fridge and don’t find anything satisfying your cravings? Last Sunday I had that feeling – again. Grrr. But luckily my future-me knows me better than I think it does. That’s why I had a nice selection of fresh canned goods in my cupboard: lentil and bean soup, chilli, ravioli and chicken soup. What else could I wish for?
I quickly decided on the ravioli, grabbed a bowl and put it in the microwave. 3, 2, 1, couch was calling! So I laid down and enjoyed my hot and delicious tomato ravioli. When I laid there and savoured my dish I got into thinking. “How impressive: These ravioli taste like fresh ones. How does it work? What’s the process of canning and what does the process of can production look like?” That was the moment when I realised that I didn’t know too much about it. But, I knew I was going to change something about it.
Sharing is so much more than caring
That’s why I’m going to share my knowledge: So you can participate, too!
There are so many different components influencing the manufacturing of tin cans. I mean it has to be light, eco-friendly, robust and easy to handle. The solution to all of these challenges is called packaging steel or tin plates.
The canning process
1. Fabricate the steel: tin plate consists of an extremely thin layer of packaging steel that is refined with tin coating – giving it the typical silver shine and its name.
2. Inner coating: A lot of foods contain substances that can attack packaging. Cans are therefore made with an elastic coating preventing any interaction between food and the metal wall of the can.
3. Cutting & punching: The metal is cut into its final shape. Short notice: The waste gets recycled immediately.
4. Development of the form: Bending of the tin, so it gets its typical round form. The bottom end is attached to the can body.
5. Filling: The fruits, vegetables or other products get filled into the can.
6. Put the lid on it: Almost ready to get sold, but before that, remember step 7.
7. Sterilisation & pasteurisation: Finally the tin can has to be sterilised or pasteurised depending on the type of food inside. At this step the can gets heated up to between 70 to 120 degrees, so it gets its unique characteristic: a long durability.
And ta-da the can is finally ready. Fascinating how much steps it takes to get my ravioli into this small can. But, mhh, the waiting is worth it. J
The picture shows a tin that consists of three parts: the lid, the body and the bottom. The other possibility would be to have a two-piece tin, where body and bottom are made of one part and only the lid has to be put on top.
You can see, it’s really a balancing act between high stability and as less use of material as possible.
Because I finally got caught in this tin-story I’m going to keep you informed if anything exciting will happen. Stay tuned!
Did you know all this facts about the canning process? Please let me know, so I don’t feel like I have been the only unknown person round here.