Canned salsa can be vulnerable to toxins from the botulism organism, C. botulinum. Make sure Spicy Salsa Company’s product is safe by adjusting its pH to the target level.
Virtual Labs interactive food science modules train high school and college students in basic laboratory techniques.
Adding acidic ingredients is an important way to protect foods from dangerous toxins produced by organisms like C. botulinum, a microbe that is common and harmless in the environment but deadly when sealed with food in a jar. In the lab, testing the pH of a substance (how acidic or basic it is) provides important information for ensuring food safety. This module introduces users to proper sampling techniques when testing pH and explains how adjusting a food’s acidity can keep it safe from C. bot. Virtual Labs: Acidifying Salsa familiarizes the user with food science lab equipment and teaches standard techniques for sampling. The interactive covers theory and practice of adjusting pH, so learners will have familiarity with concepts and procedures when encountered in a real lab.
This work was supported by USDA CSREES and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under two Higher Education Challenge Grant projects: 2008-38411-19055 and 2011-38411-30625. © 2008-2016 NMSU Board of Regents. Collaborating universities South Dakota State University and New Mexico State University are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers and educators.
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