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Script 66.4

Notes to broadcasters

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Because many tropical fruit and vegetable crops ripen at one time, it is sometimes difficult for farmers to market or store all the produce. As a result the surplus is often wasted. In some regions this results in a huge loss of perishable foods.

Making jam or sauce is a low-cost method of processing food that can be done easily in households, and contributes to family food security by making fruits and vegetables available in the off-season. This script discusses some important things to keep in mind when you’re processing fruits and vegetables, including using safe methods of preservation, and paying attention to hygiene and sterilization.

The script requires two voices to hold the interest of your audience. You may want to narrate one part, and ask a community volunteer to be your guest. To add more interest, try using sound effects, such as spoons and plates clanking together, to create a kitchen atmosphere.

Script

Host
-When so many garden crops ripen at one time, it is sometimes difficult to sell them all. But how can we store them? Today we are going to learn about saving fruits and vegetables for use in the off-season, when they are not so plentiful. The information in today’s program comes to us from the Community Project for Food Preservation and Radio COCO in Cuba.

Guest
-Yes, today we’re going to talk about preserving foods by making jam or sauce. We will learn about the importance of good hygiene, in particular, sterilization of the jars, when preparing these foods.

Host
-The advice comes from Vilda Figueroa and José Lamas who work with the Community Project for Food Preservation, in Cuba. These tips from Vilda and José will make jam and sauce preparation easy and safe. José and Vilda say that the first thing to consider is good hygiene. This means keeping the foods, utensils, and kitchen clean. And keep your hands clean too!

Guest
-It’s also important to carefully choose the produce you are going to use. It must be in good condition. In other words, don’t use fruits or vegetables that are over-ripe, damaged, diseased or mouldy.

Host
-Okay, so keep everything clean and select only fruits and vegetables that are in good condition.

Guest
-Right. Now, moving along, let’s say that we have finished making the jam or sauce. It’s sitting in the pot, nice and hot, and we’re ready to pour it into the bottles or jars. What’s the next step?

Host
-Well, you have to sterilize the containers.

Guest
-Exactly! First you have to sterilize the empty bottles or jars. Then, once they are filled with the jam or sauce, sterilize again.

Host
-So you have to sterilize the jars twice!

Guest
-Yes. It is very important to sterilize the product again once it is bottled and sealed.

Host
-Here are the steps for sterilizing the empty containers. Put all the jars and lids into a large pan. Fill the pan with clean water and boil everything for 20-30 minutes.

Guest
-Now remove the bottles from the water. Remove them with care! Use clean hands or tongs, and be careful not to burn yourself. Turn the bottles upside down so they drain before you fill them.

Host
-Fill the hot bottles with the hot jam or sauce. Both should be hot so that the bottles don’t crack.

Guest
-When the jars are full and sealed, it’s time to sterilize them again. Remember, this is an important step, so don’t forget it! To sterilize the jars that are now full, follow these steps.

Host
-First, heat up water in a pot until it’s about the same temperature as the jars. The jars and the water should be at the same temperature so the jars don’t break.

Guest
-You can place a screen at the bottom of the pot so the jars don’t touch the flame.

Host
-When you put the jars in the water, the water should completely cover the containers, with a little bit of water above the top of them.

Guest
-Now let the water come to a boil. Let the water boil for 45 minutes.

Host
-And now you’re finished, right?

Guest
-Well, you’re almost finished. Next let the jars cool down. Once they are cool, you can label them with the name of the product and the date.

Host
-If you practise good hygiene, use fruits and vegetables that are in good condition, use the correct amounts of the different ingredients, and sterilize correctly, then you will never have to regret the loss of a preserve. Thank you to Vilda Figueroa and José Lamas from the Community Project for Food Preservation, in Cuba, for providing us with this information.

MUSIC.

Acknowledgements

Adapted by Jennifer Pittet from a radio program (Programas de radio para preparer conservas: Consejos utiles) produced by el Proyecto Comunitario de Conservación de Alimentos (the Community Project for Food Preservation) and Radio COCO, 1999, City of Havana, Cuba.

Reviewed by François Mazaud, Senior Officer, Post-harvest Management Group, FAO, Rome. Translated from Spanish by María Rodriguez, Gatineau, Canada.

Information Sources

For more information about storing, handling and processing foods, please contact François Mazaud, Post-harvest Management Group, FAO, Viale delle Terme de Caracalla, 01000 Rome, Italy. E-mail:francois.mazaud@fao.org, URL:http://www.fao.org/inpho/