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#03.02.2016 Steel packaging report shows qualities for preserving vegetables

A report has praised the ability of steel cans to protect valuable minerals and nutrients in vegetables.

The findings of the research, carried out by SGS Fresenius Institute, show that canned vegetables’ vitamin and mineral levels are just as high as freshly cooked vegetables.

In addition, it confirms steel cans not only protect valuable mineral nutrients, they also help retain product freshness as well as flavour and provide an unrivalled shelf life of up to three years without adding preservatives.

Carried out on behalf of “Initiative Lebensmitteldose” (food can initiative) – a partnership between 10 German manufacturers in the food and packaging industries with the goal of informing consumers and nutrition experts about the benefits of canned food – the report showed that in some cases, nutrients were even higher within canned vegetables than their freshly prepared counterparts.

APEAL Secretary General, Alexander Mohr, said: “This SGS Fresenius Institute report confirms what we have known for some time; that steel packaging leads the way when it comes to protecting food and preserving nutritional value, freshness and flavour.

“Consumers across the globe are now making healthier and more ethical choices when it comes to food and we believe they are now starting to recognise the benefits steel cans can provide.

“In the long-term, particularly given the shift towards circular economic principles, we could well see manufacturers begin to accentuate the positive effects of steel packaging in preserving nutrition both on their packaging and in their marketing materials.

“This is great news for both consumers looking to make healthy and positive choices and the steel industry in Europe.”

The canned vegetables used for the tests were heated according to the recommendations of the manufacturer while the fresh vegetables were cooked in a standard household fashion.

Afterwards, both were examined for their mineral nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as for the levels of vitamin B1, B6, C, A (beta-carotene) and folate.

The results showed the vitamin and mineral levels of canned vegetables were comparable or even higher than for freshly prepared food.

Two canned vegetables achieved optimum values: sauerkraut and tomatoes. 200g of canned sauerkraut contain one third more vitamin C than the freshly prepared alternative, reaching as much as 40% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Meanwhile 200g canned tomatoes were shown to contain one third of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and two thirds of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, well ahead of the freshly prepared equivalent.

The report concluded steel had exceptional performance capabilities with a loss of nutrients after canning found to be “practically impossible”.

For more information on the report, visit www.initiative-lebensmitteldose.de