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Detinning of canned food

Detinning is the slow corrosion of the tin coating of a can.

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Occurrence of detinning

Tin is used to protect the steel base of a can from corrosion both externally and internally when in contact with food. Under the conditions inside a can of food, tin will normally dissolve very slowly to protect the steel base from corrosion. This corrosion is characteristic of some canned citric products and most low-acid food (such as meat products and vegetable products).

Product safety

The Government of Canada set maximum residue limits for various substances in food to ensure that consumers are not exposed to contaminants in their diet that may pose a health risk.

Although detinning can be a little unsightly, most canned foods processed and stored under proper conditions do not exceed the maximum residue level for tin, which is 250 parts per million.

What to do if you find detinning

If you find detinning in a canned food and you are not sure about its safety, it is best to throw it out or return to the store where it was purchased.

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