Nicolás Appert’s invention of food preservation by the action of heat is known as apertización. The ingenious invention was the basis of the modern industry of the conservation of packaged foods. It gave rise to the metal industry that generates in the world the manufacture of more than 100,000 million cans per year.

The most modern nations have paid a warm tribute to the inventive spirit of Nicolás Appert. The United States, in particular, does not forget that thanks to the opening up, the fruit production of California could be born in 1850, and develop in a few decades in a spectacular way.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the foods opened up have their place within a modern, balanced, healthy and festive diet.

In the first place, for its nutritional and vitamin qualities, and its bacteriological safety, which make them exemplary foods.

Then, because the variety of products is infinite: from the classic peas to the natural to the precooked dishes or the goose confit, without forgetting the truffle, the foie gras, the asparagus and a whole variety of vegetables and legumes ( tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, green beans …)

The range of desserts is also rich, from peaches, plums, pears, cherries, apricots … from our gardens to pineapples, kiwis, mangoes … and other exotic fruits, without omitting all the variety of hors d’oeuvres.

The fish, the pates, the cooked dishes, the stews, the sauces … present an extraordinary diversity of traditional or sophisticated preparations, which respond to all needs and all budgets.

Light cooking? Search for a better food balance? Problems of light or severe regimens? Also here are the open foods: vegetables cooked or in salads, prepared dishes that bring together the innovation and gastronomic tradition, nutritional information labeling … the list of new products is expanding throughout the seasons.

Here is the profile of an agri-food industry that prides itself on its European origin and which today represents a great global business.



According to the French National Academy of Medicine, openness is defined as:

“Product of animal or vegetable origin, perishable, whose conservation under normal conditions of storage at room temperature is ensured by the opening , that is to say by the combined use, without the order being defined, of the following two techniques:

1 .- Preparation in a tight container to the action of liquids and microorganisms, and sufficiently impermeable to gas.

2º.- Heat treatment to destroy or completely inhibit the enzymes, microorganisms and their toxins and in this way ensure the biological stability of the product.

It should be noted that the opening of a food constitutes the entire process of conservation of such food, including its preparation, packaging, closed and sterilized. Therefore, the concept of openness should not be confused with that of sterilization. The latter is only the final phase of the first.



The following table summarizes the three methods used in food preservation:


There are several types of containers on the market to contain opened foods.

They may be:

–          Metallic: Tinplate, Chromed sheet metal (TFS), Aluminum.

–          Of Cristal

–          Of plastic

–          Ceramic containers

–          Based on aluminum-plastic compounds, cardboard-aluminum-plastic

The forms and presentations are very varied:

–          Round, oval, rectangular, trapezoidal cans …

–          Rectangular, round, oval trays … with alveoli …

–          Sacks, tubes.

–         …

The containers respond to all needs:

–          Individual or family consumption, as well as meals in restaurants or outside the home.




–          Act as a barrier against liquids, gases and microorganisms.

–          Be compatible in contact with food.

–          Do not add heavy metals to the products.

–          Present an adequate range of dimensions and capabilities.

–          Comply with the legal requirements on labeling and marking.


–          Present the adequate resistance to the thermal and mechanical aggressions.

–          Comply with the corresponding FCP (Pre-Expiration Date), taking into account the following:

o      External factors

o      Internal factors

o      Continuity / content compatibility



FCP (Preferred Expiration Date)

–          Applies to the products opened

–          It guarantees the organoleptic and nutritional qualities of the product.

–          It is the result of content / continent adaptation.

–          It is set by the canning manufacturer but there are professional recommendations.

–          Beyond your FCP, a product can be sold (without infringement) and remains consumable.

FLC (Date Limit of Consumption)

–          It is applied to perishable products (life duration <42 days and half-lives).

–          Fixed by regulation.

–          Beyond your FLC, a product must not be sold or consumed (risk of intoxication)



It can present metallic lastas with products opened with deformations of mechanical origin. The main factors that cause these deformations are:

A.- In the event of showing up DISCOUNTED. “ABOMBADO” OR WITH “PICOS”:

Its possible causes are:

–          Excessive product filling (not respecting any head space)

–          Air in significant quantities (Temperature too low at closing time).

–          Insufficient internal vacuum.

–          Gases occluded in the product.

–          Autoclave malfunction (stop too sudden, …)

–          Blows in the cans.

–          Inadequate characteristics of the containers (mainly weakness of the funds)

B.- In case of presenting CRUSHING OR “SUCKING” OF THE WALLS

Its possible causes are:

– Insufficient filling (Excess head space).

– Internal vacuum too high.

– Excessive back pressure during the process.

– Blows on the cans.

– Inadequate characteristics of the containers (mainly weakness in the cordoning).

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