Can You Avoid Using Preservatives in Canned Food?

Preservatives are used in canned food to maintain the quality and safety of the food for a longer period of time. Without preservatives, canned food can quickly become unsafe to eat due to bacteria and other pathogens.

Preservatives such as sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, calcium propionate and sodium nitrate are commonly used in canned foods to help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. These chemicals have been shown to be effective at inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and yeasts, which can lead to spoilage and contamination. However, some people may be concerned about the safety of these preservatives in their food.

The good news is that there are alternatives to using preservatives in canned foods. One option is to use vacuum-sealed packaging instead of cans.

Vacuum-sealed packaging helps keep air out of the package, which helps prevent spoilage from oxygen exposure. Vacuum-sealed packages also provide an airtight seal that helps keep bacteria from getting into the food.

Another option is to use special canning techniques such as “hot fill” or “retort” canning processes. These processes involve heating up the product before it is sealed in the can and help ensure that any potentially harmful bacteria present in the food is killed off before it goes into the can.

Finally, you can also opt for fresh or frozen produce instead of canned products when possible. Fresh produce contains fewer preservatives than canned products and is generally considered healthier than canned food. Additionally, frozen produce maintains its nutritional value better than canned products due to its lower temperature while stored in freezers.


It is possible to avoid using preservatives in canned food by utilizing alternative methods like vacuum-sealed packaging or special canning processes such as hot fill or retort methods or opting for fresh or frozen produce instead of canned products when available. However, it should be noted that these alternatives may not always be feasible or practical for certain types of foods that require long shelf life storage requirements.