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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Nicolas Appert: The inventor of airtight food preservation

The idea of using a sealed vessel as an integral part of a food preservation process rather than as a merely convenient storage receptacle was seize upon and developed by the Frenchman M. Nicolas Appert ((17 November 1749 – 1 June 1841). In the early 1800s Nicolas Appert established an operation in Massy, La Maison d‘Appert (House of Appert, devoted to food preservation.

By 1804 this operation was a functioning as a full scale canning plant, the first in the world. It included a farm so that food could be preserved as the same location in which it was grown.

In 1795, the French Directory which ruled France decided they need to find a better way to ensure adequate supplies of food for soldier. They offered a prize of 12000 francs to anyone who could come up with a new way of preserving food so it could be transported over long distance.

When Napoleon came to power in 1799, no one had solved the problem. Six years later Appert submitted his preserved food at an exhibition. He was given the 12000 francs four years later on the condition that he made his findings public.

In 1810, Appert did publish a book, The Art of Preserving All Kinds of Animal and Vegetables Substances for Several Years, which was translated into English and published in New York two years later, Nicolas Appert:
The inventor of airtight food preservation
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