Yesterday a friend brought me 16 cans of very old long term storage food stored in #10 cans that he had in the back of his storage. The can all seemed to date from the mid to late 1970’s. They covered a variety of companies some of which no longer exist. I am opening the majority of the cans and evaluating the contents.
The first can I opened was a can of banana slices from about 78 or 79. These were package by Sam Andy Foods. They did not look to bad, but had a strong rancid smell. I have a strong stomach, but I would have to be starving to eat these. The label said they were stored in “a special stabilized storage atmosphere introduced during packing”. This was probably nitrogen. The contents of the can read, “bananas, sugar, honey, coconut oil, artificial flavor. The coconut oil is probably what I smelled.
The second can was of dehydrated low-moisture instant apple slices, packaged by Vacu-Dry. There was no indication on the label as to whether these had been treated in any way to extend their storage life. The contents were very inedible. They looked horrible, being very discolored and in some areas had what looked like a white mold on them. Needless to say I did not taste test them.
The next can we opened was a can of General Mills Bac-O-Bits packed in the late 70s. These were a TVP product and appeared in good shape. We actually ate one of these and while I would not recommend these for normal everyday use, if I were starving I would eat these without any qualms.
The next food that opened was butter powder Packed by American Harvest Foods. The can label says “butter, Non-fat milk solids, oxygen receptor to improve stability”. After opening the can, we sifted through the contents to see if we could determine what the oxygen receptor was. We found nothing. Much to how surprise we found the contents to be in relatively good shape. The contents did not smell rancid, it still smell like butter and we tasted a very small amount. This is something that I would have used in a starvation situation. If you have any of this in your storage I would say it is time to think about replacing it.
The next can was dried whole egg solids packed by Marshall. The label stated the cans were stabilized, no idea what that means. They did say to store in refrigerator after opening. When opened the can gave of a slight smell of rotten eggs. I passed on taste testing this product. The can was marked 1973.
The cans all showed some small areas of corrosion, but generally appeared to be intact. They have been stored in a garage not under the best of conditions.
Tomorrow I will open the rest of the cans including some Mountain House and Pack Away foods. Hope this helps you if you have any extremely old products.