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Old 07-17-2007, 11:28 AM   #21
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires that all commercial garlic-in-oil products contain specific levels of microbial inhibitors or acidifying agents such as phosphoric or citric acid.

It is very dangereous to try to make shelf-stable infused oil at home.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
Well I just did some quick searching in response to my own question, and while I don't know if this is 100% accurate, it seems that the FDA requires all canned goods to go through a process called a "botulinum cook" that destroys all but a negligibly small percent of botulism bacteria. The botulinum cook requires that the product be held at a temp. of 250 F or 121 C for a minimum of 3 minutes.

I don't think the FDA develops canning guidelines. The USDA, which does, recommends recommends holding the material at 240-250 F for 20 to 100 minutes.

Also, you are trying to kill spores, not bacteria, which withstand high heat for longer periods.

Still very unsafe to try at home.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:18 PM   #23
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This reminds me of a horror story that happened about 7 years ago. We were remodeling our kitchen, and had installed some display shelves. We wanted to put up jars of spices, oils, plates, etc. We were at Pier 1 and bought a bunch of fancy bottles with stoppers.

I filled some of the bottles with different vinegars and herbs. I filled one bottle with olive oil, herbs and garlic. We never really planned on using them, at least not regularly, but we liked how they look.

Weeks go by, and I notice the oil bottle is looking cloudy. It gets progressively worse, so I finally opened it and the smell was horrendous. I put it down and did a search on the net and found out I had a home-brewed batch of botulism. I was horrified and immediately broke out the rubber gloves, wrapped that bottle in several bags, a box, and then trashed it. Ill never forget that.....frightening stuff.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:29 PM   #24
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Wouldn't the fact that Chicouk's mom browned the garlic before putting it in the oil kill the organisms?
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picklelady View Post
Wouldn't the fact that Chicouk's mom browned the garlic before putting it in the oil kill the organisms?

No. Botulism spores can survive high heat.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:49 PM   #26
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We have learned a lot about food preservation over the past 50-60 years. Some of the things that we've learned show that the ways our Moms and Grandmas did things really are not reliably safe. I know I would never can some things the way my Grandma did!

For those who say, "but my mom/grandma always did it that way and nobody ever got sick" - all I can say is sometimes you get lucky - or that the symptoms set in so long after ingesting something that a connection wasn't made. If you take a 6-shot revolver and put one cartridge into one chamber, give it a spin, snap it shut, cock the hammer, point the muzzle at your head and pull the trigger - you've got an about 83% chance of not blowing your brains out. Of course, the odds change statistically the more times you do it. The same goes for the consumption of foods that have not been processed in a way that has been proven to be safe.

Although botulism poisoning symptoms usually appear within 6-18 hours ... they can sometimes not show up for as long as 2 weeks.

Now, regarding the commercial production of garlic infused olive oil, or those jars of ready-to-use minced garlic in oil ... it's a combination of heat, time and pH. Basically, the oil must be adjusted to a pH of 4.6 or less for the total mass of oil and garlic - after mixing and placing in the jars it must processed under pressure to increase the temp to 245-265 F (I don't remember the exact temp) and held there for a minimum of 10 minutes. As jennyema noted - the lower the temp the longer it takes. If I remember the site where I found the information from the USDA/CDC/FDA there were only two acceptable acidifying agents - which I don't remember.

Oh, and FYI keltin - Botulism toxin is colorless and odorless. What you were probably observing was spoilage ... and the odor also included rancidity, and that can be very nasty!

I can not in clear conscience endorse, support, or recomment any food preservation method that does not conform to modern approved standards and methods.
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