*When #10 Cans Bulge*
24 January 2017
NOTE: Your results may not be the same as mine. Usually, if you find a bulging can it's a sign of big trouble that must be immediately discarded. Don't do as I did - but do your own research and make your own informed decision.
I had five four-year-old cans of Augason Farms Six Grain Pancake mix that bulged at the top and bottom.
I did notice a tiny bit of rust where the bottom meets the side on the outside but there were no other signs of can problems. I opened one can. The inside looked perfect. No mold, mildew or signs of trouble. The contents looked and smelled perfect.
I wondered what would cause bulging when nothing seemed to be sad on the inside, especially when these cans have been stored in a controlled environment with consistent temperatures.
Also, LOL, you ever tried to open a deformed can? No manual can opener would touch it. This was treacherous, trying to open the can with a knife and a small pry bar. I don't recommend that. I'll be adding a few military-style can openers in my long term storage area.
After posting this on the Rubicon chatboard, several comments indicated they had experienced the same thing and the problem might be the leavening agent (baking powder/baking soda) "doing its thing" of creating carbon dioxide. So, I did some research on the Internet and found several posting on blogs that seemed to confirm this.
I called Augason Farms and spoke to them and they confirmed it. They cheerfully and quickly replaced my cans with new product. They were very familiar with the issue and explained that since this problem came to light, they have changed their "recipe" for all pre-packaged mixes (bread and biscuits) and now use a shelf-stable alternative leavening. It was good to know they were on top of it. Thumbs up for their great customer service.
One of the Rubicon commenter's suggested a long term storage baking powder alternative that I might use. Several recipes are on the Internet. The one that was recommended was two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda. Use 3/4 of the amount called for in the recipe as commercial baking powder includes corn starch as a flowing agent.
Also from the comments on the Rubicon board, I found that the pancake mix was probably safe to eat. It was still "good" if I replaced the baking powder with fresh. Just use the normal amount called for in recipes. The good people at Augason Farms confirmed this. However, I needed to know it for myself. I made waffles for breakfast using the pancake mix. Everyone agreed they tasted yummy. No one in the family suffered any after effects. I found that 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for every 4 ounces of mix was about perfect.
So, I kept the mix. I divided it into 2-cup portions and vacuum sealed it. I stored it in a 5-gallon bucket with vacuum sealed baking soda/powder for possible future use. This way, I can use a 2-cup portion instead of opening a large quantity of mix that I might not be able to use right away.
If you do your own research; and, if you speak with the manufacturer to learn about their products and ingredients; and, if they seem to have knowledge of and experience with the problem; and, if the interior of the can and contents looks good and smells good; then perhaps all is not lost.TooshieGalore
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