I am wondering about adding acid to my tomatoes when canning. I have a pH reader and the acidity is always well below 4.6; lower by at least 1 point. Do I still need to add acid before water bathing or not since the reason is based on acid level
Ingham County Michigan
The guidelines for the USDA tells us ALL processed tomato products need to be acidified, whether they are being water bath, atmospheric steam or pressure canned. There are several variables that can impact home food preservation, we are not processing in conditions like a lab or commercial manufacturer does.
Variables include pH varying from one tomato to another due to growing conditions and nutrients. Even when your product is mixed, we still recommend acidifying home canned tomatoes using either bottled lemon juice (2 Tablespoons/quart or 1 Tablespoon/pint) citric acid (1/2 teaspoon/quart or 1/4 teaspoon/pint) or you could use 5% vinegar (4 Tablespoons/quart or 2 Tablespoons/pint). Note: vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.
Wishing you safe preserving,