Results of experiments by research experts in the food value of canned foods will shortly be published by the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the Ministry the point has now been reached when canned foods may be said to sell on their own merits, and not as a mere substitute for fresh foods. The most obvious attribute of canned foods was that they made available a permanent supply of foodstuffs which were otherwise limited to a season, as well as making available to consumers fruits which could not otherwise be obtained in their natural state. In view of the wide range of varieties of canned foods and vegetables now available any generalised statement as to their value was impracticable, but it might be broadly stated that their energy‐producing value, as expressed in calories, was never inferior to that of the same kinds for consumption fresh, or in some other prepared form. Recent research had shown that vitamins were not necessarily destroyed by canning, and indeed some canned foods—for instance, canned tomatoes—might be very nearly as rich in vitamins as the raw product. An outstanding example of the importance of the canned food industry was the market which had been created for British fresh picked peas. Here the farmers had profited by an expanding but controlled increase of acreage under crop, with prices remaining very stable for the last few years. It was probable that the same general tendency would be observable with plums, and with most other canning crops, as the industry developed. In this country an increased consumption of home‐canned goods, if secured at the expense of imported canned goods, or some other imported agricultural commodity, would mean that a new market had been created for British growers, while a similar benefit would be obtained if export markets were developed. This would not be true if home‐canned goods replaced other home‐grown crops, but in this case it might mean a change‐over from an unprofitable to a profitable crop.
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