K-State Research and Extension News
October 01, 2009
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When Tomatoes Freeze

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- For gardeners, an early frost could mean a change in the menu.

If allowed to freeze on the vine, tomatoes will need to be eaten, dried or frozen, but should not be canned, said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist.

Freezing on the vine lowers the acid levels within the fruit, she said.

Food experts typically recommend adding lemon juice to increase the acidity when canning tomatoes, but that may not make the frozen tomatoes safe enough for canning and room temperature storage, Blakeslee said.

If frost or a freeze is predicted, pick tomatoes and allow them to ripen at room temperature, she said.

More information on food safety and preservation is available at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices and on Blakeslee's food safety Web sites: www.ksre.ksu.edu/foodsafety and www.rrc.ksu.edu.      

Karen Blakeslee is the K-State Research and Extension Rapid Response Coordinator. As such, she spends her working hours answering food and food safety questions for Kansans.  



K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Karen Blakeslee is at 785-532-1673.