tomato acidity

Previously I have been told that the need to acidify tomatoes before canning was not dependent on the soil but on the variety and that the problem is that many of the currently popular varities do not have enough acid of their own.
This, then, begs the question of which varities DO supply sufficient acidity. I am growing heirlooms this year and plan to continue indefinitely. I would certainly be willing to plant varieties that supported the end goal of not adding lemon juice but also not taking undue chances with my family's health.
Does anyone know (or have a link for) high-acid tomato varieties?
Bill
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Zone 8b (Detroit, MI)
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I've never heard that tomatoes didn't have enough acid to justify open bath canning. I've canned many different types (red only) and never gotten sick. The only thing I've heard is that the yellow tomatoes are a LOWER acid than red tomatoes. I think all tomatoes contain acid.
If you're still uncertain, why don't you contact Ball or Kerr and ask them? These are two manufacturers of canning supplies and I'm sure they must have some reference somewhere that indicates unsafe practices. Good luck and let us know what you find.
Penny Zone 7b - North Carolina

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On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 20:43:50 GMT, "Penny Morgan"

Many tomato varieties are now considered to have insufficient acidity for safe water-bath canning. Because of this, the USDA recommends that all acid (lemon juice usually) be added to all tomatoes to be water-bath processed.
This can be avoided by pressure-canning the tomatoes.
See 'The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning', which says - in part -
---------------
Acidification: To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/usda/utah_can_guide_03.pdf
------------------
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@nc.rr.com writes:

Actually, the new Ball canning book I purchased is where I read that lemon juice needs to be added as there is no guarantee that today's tomatoes have enough acid. They made no reference to a particular type of tomato but included all in their recommendation.
The canning tomatoes directions indicates hot water bath (Pages 24-25 with drawings). The directions for canning tomatoes include "Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to each quart jar." I didn't like doing it as it seemed likely to affect the taste of the tomatoes but I did it anyway . . . it was not noticeable in the canned product. Even if it had been, it certainly would be worth keeping my family healthy.
Ball Blue Book, Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration, Copyright 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999.
For questions, call (800) 240-3340
BTW, it says nothing about adding salt (or anything else) to tomatoes when dehydrating (Page 106).
Hope this helps.
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com writes:

Interesting.
Hot water bath referred to both, packed cold and packed hot, and then the finished jars processed in a hot water bath for a specified period of time. That would include such things as peaches/pears which are packed cold and tomatoes/tomato juice which are packed hot or warm. There are, of course, many other items processed in that manner. (It is referred to in the Ball Blue Book as Boiling-Water Method with the one using pressure referred to as Steam-Pressured Method. Both methods involve placing hot or cold foods in the jars initially but require certain processing times with no difference listed as to beginning temperature.)
Open kettle referred to cooking the ingredients in an open kettle (hence the name) and then poured into jars hot and placing seals on the jars immediately with the cooling causing the lids to seal. This was used for things that were perceived as needing no further processing, such as pickles, jams, etc. The sealant could be lids and rings (pickles/jams/jelleies/etc.) or wax as in the case of jellies/jams.
Open kettle, as I understood and listed in the previous paragraph, is described in the Ball Blue Book the same way. It is also listed as to be avoided and potentially dangerous.
I've never heard of hot water bath canning referred to as open kettle when the finished jars are processed in the hot water bath.
While it makes no difference to an individual who is processing the food correctly, it can make a huge difference to others who understand different definitions for the terms. If someone had told me that something could be canned by the open kettle method, I would have done it as I had been taught as a child (and the old canning books described) and as it is currently defined. The life-saver would be checking a current reliable source for specific directions, which, of course, should always be done.
So, in your family, what was it called when the ingredients are cooked and placed in the jars immediately with no further processing?
Glenna

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Glenna Rose wrote:

It was called "jelly". ;-)
(Actually, there was one pickle recipe where we did that too. Everything else, including jams and preserves, got processed somehow or another.)
Best regards, Bob
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