Canning: Molds and Molding

Every housekeeper is familiar with molds which, under favorable conditions of warmth and moisture, grow upon almost any kind of organic material. This is seen in damp, warm weather, when molds form in a short time on all sorts of starchy foods, such as boiled potatoes, bread, mush, etc., as well as fresh, canned, and preserved fruits. Molds develop from spores which are always floating about in the air. When a spore fails upon a substance containing moisture and suitable food it sends oat a fine thread, which branches and works its way over and into the attacked substance. In a short time spores are produced and the work of reproduction goes on.


In the first stages Molds are white or light gray and hardly noticeable; but when spores develop the growth gradually becomes colored. In fact, the conditions of advanced growth might be likened to those of a flower garden. The threads—mycelium—might be likened to the roots of plants and the spores to the flower and seeds. Mold spores are very light and are blown about by the wind. They are a little heavier than air, and drop on shelves, tables, and floor, and are easily set in motion again by the movement of a brush, duster, etc. If one of these spores drops on a jar of preserves or a tumbler of jelly, it will germinate if there be warmth and moisture enough in the storeroom.


Molds do not ordinarily cause fermentation of canned foods, although they are the common cause of the decay of raw fruits. They are not as injurious to canned goods as are bacteria and yeasts. They do not penetrate deeply into preserves or jellies, or into liquids or semiliquids, but if given time they will, at ordinary room temperature, work all through suitable solid substances which contain moisture. Nearly every housekeeper has seen this in the molding of a loaf of bread or cake.

In the work of canning, preserving, and jelly making it is important that the food shall be protected from the growth of molds as well as the growth of yeasts and bacteria. To kill mold spores food must be exposed to a temperature of from 150° F. to 212° F. After this it should be kept in a cool, dry place and covered carefully that no floating spore can find lodgment on its surface.

Here are the original 1905 pages:

Canning Molds and Molding I

Canning Molds and Molding I

Canning Molds and Molding II

Canning Molds and Molding II

Check out this video on how to prepare glass canning jars for the canning process.

Canning Sterilization