The ingenious destiny of the CAN
Nicolas APPERT (1749-1841), a confectioner from Champagne created the first preserves in glass jars in Ivry-sur Seine. This entailed placing a foodstuff in an airtight container and sterilising it by cooking above 100°C. Hence the birth of appertisation.
The foodstuff preservation process created by Nicolas APPERT was officially recognised.
A patent that was to set an example.
The French sardine preserves adopted the APPERT process. The oldest tin of sardines known in France dates back to 1810.
It bears a copper stamp in the name of Joseph-Pierre COLIN, regarded as the founder of the canning industry. In his Gourmet Calendar book of 1810, the food columnist, Grimod Reynière, commended the freshness of the confit sardines of Nantes packaged in a metal tin.
Canning expanded in France. In addition to sardines and other fish, meat, vegetables and fruit were then appertised in tin cans.
The production process started to get more sophisticated.
The Brits Donkin, Hall and Gamble used a control cabinet to check the sterility of their preserves. This was the birth of "quality control". Raymond CHEVALIER-APPERT registered a patent for an "autoclave with special pressure gauge" process enabling the temperature of the sterilisation chamber be to raised above 100°C, in controlled pressure conditions.
The American Allan TAYLOR patented a can printing machine in 1846.
In France, the first printing dates back to 1863.
The canner H. VOISIN developed a flat machine with two cylinders in 1868 to print high quality decoration at a rate of 700 sheets per hour.
This was to see the start of direct lithographic printing.
It was to be replaced by offset printing at the beginning of the XXth century.
Louis PASTEUR identified microbes and demonstrated how they could be destroyed at high temperature. This underlined the importance of Nicolas APPERT’s discoveries.
Jean-Baptiste GEORGET developed a special varnish to protect the inside of tin cans from acid etching by foodstuffs.
It was commonly called "Chatenay varnish".
The pull-off sardine tin, of an unknown inventor, was marketed for the first time.
The can with surrounding strip, which appeared at the same time, was attributed to the RIOM PINARD firm.
PECHINAY manufactured in France the first seamless aluminium stapled tin with base and lid crimped according to the same principle as the tin can.
Aluminium was used in Norway from 1930 to package certain shellfish subsequently followed by sardines.
Appearance of moulding on the body of steel cans to ensure improved mechanical strength as the thickness of the metal required to manufacture them was becoming thinner and thinner.
Appearance of the first easy opening base which went on to be constantly improved. In 1989, Eole, the easy opening base set a new quality standard which is still in use today.