For a long time, people have thought about how to protect food from spoilage. This issue became especially acute when it became necessary to create reserves for armies going on long campaigns, as well as for expeditions to remote places on the planet. The solution to this problem was the invention of canned food and cans for storing them.
How did the canning method come about?
At the end of the 18th century, Napoleon Bonaparte decided to conquer Europe. The planned campaigns of conquest required new ways of storing food. And then Napoleon announced that whoever finds a way to keep food fresh for a long time will receive a solid monetary reward.
Many experts pondered this question, but the most successful was the pastry chef and chef Nicolas François Apper. He came to the idea that if food is placed in an airtight package and then subjected to heat treatment, then they can be stored for a very long time.
The hypothesis turned out to be correct. Products prepared by the method proposed by Upper were stored for a long time and after opening turned out to be not only suitable for consumption, but also of very high quality. To store food, Upper used ceramic or glass jars, which were hermetically sealed. The canning method invented by Upper saved the soldiers of the Napoleonic army from a lot of problems with food preparation that arose during military campaigns.
In 1809, Napoleon awarded Upper a cash prize and awarded him the title of "Benefactor of Humanity."
The invention of the tin can
Subsequently, the Englishman Peter Durand improved Upper's invention. In 1810, he patented cans of his own design. Such containers for storing canned food were much more convenient than glass and ceramic vessels.
Of course, the first cans were significantly different in appearance from the modern ones. These containers had very thick walls; their inner surface was covered with tin. They were made by hand, and the lid of the jars was not very comfortable. They opened such canned food with a hammer and chisel.
Over time, America became the center of the canning industry. There they began to produce special machines on which it was possible to make cans in an automated way. Already in the second decade of the 19th century, canned fish and fruits were mass-produced in the United States. It was here that the tin can acquired its familiar look, familiar to everyone today.
It is interesting that the Americans thought of inventing the can opener only in the middle of the 19th century.
In 1870, the first cannery appeared in Russia. He produced several types of canned food, which were intended for the needs of the army. Fried beef, porridge and meat with peas enclosed in cans were very popular with consumers.