Hot filling of fruit preserves is a common practice in food processing for several reasons:
1. Preservation: Hot filling helps to preserve the fruit preserves by killing or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. When the preserves are heated to a high temperature, it destroys any bacteria, yeasts, or molds present in the product. This ensures that the preserves have a longer shelf life and reduces the risk of spoilage. The high temperature also helps to deactivate enzymes that can cause deterioration of the product over time.
2. Seal integrity: Hot filling involves filling the preserves into jars or containers while they are still hot, and then sealing them immediately. The heat causes the air inside the jar to expand, creating pressure. As the jar cools down, the pressure inside decreases, creating a vacuum seal. This vacuum seal prevents the entry of air and microorganisms, which can lead to spoilage. The tight seal also helps to maintain the quality, flavor, and texture of the fruit preserves for an extended period.
Overall, hot filling of fruit preserves ensures both preservation and seal integrity, making the product safe to consume and extending its shelf life.