Food History

Canned Food was Invented 45 Years Before the Can Opener

Can OpenerThe idea of storing food in airtight containers came from a French chef named Nicolas Appert, when in 1795 the French military offered a cash prize of 12,000 ¬†Francs to anyone who could help them preserve food to be transported to their soldiers on the front line. Appert, however, didn’t use metal cans, he used air tight glass bottles which he then boiled which killed any bacteria inside the container.

Appert’s method was simple and worked well, the technique spread across France and into Britain where an inventor named Peter Durand patented his own method, this time not using glass bottles but using metal cans which was granted by King George III of England in 1810. He followed the same techniques except he enclosed the food in tin cans, he arranged his cans to sail with the royal navy for 4-6 months and when opened and examined they were completely preserved.

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