Wikipedia and a couple of websites tell me that raw and undercooker beans, especially red beans, can be toxic. How can I tell the differen between raw and properly cooked red beans if I get them in a can? If they’re in a can, can I presume they’re cooked?
Shortly before reading this info I ate about a pound of red beans that I’d microwaved for 2 minutes and felt no ill effects. Still, maybe I just got lucky.
Raw beans absorb the flavor of the liquid they’re cooked in. For example, if you make black bean chili using canned beans, the beans won’t have as much flavor as if you made the same dish using raw (i.e. dried, uncooked) beans.
Some foods are cooked inside the can, but I would be surprised if that were true of beans. I think they would be one of those foods that are cooked in industrial vats and then canned hot.
Nope. They are cooked sufficiently to kill most common spoilage bacteria. Actually killing “most resilient bacterial spores that may be present” would require cooking at extremely high pressures for half an hour or so, which isn’t done. The few bacterial species that do survive the normal cooking process aren’t common, aren’t able to germinate within the can and aren’t pathogenic anyway, so it’s a non-issue
All I know is that in my food microbiology class that I took when getting my degree in microbiology, we discussed at length the requirement for a so-called “7D process”. 1 D, by definition, kills 90% of botulism spores that may be present. So a 7D process kills 99.99999% of any botulism spores. This isn’t as arduous as it sounds - heating at pressure for a reasonable amount of time does the job.
But botulinum doesn’t have anywhere near the “toughest, most resilient bacterial spores that may be present”. It’s actually kind of a wimp when it comes to heat lability. It’s botulinum toxin that is heat resistant, not the spores especially.
The reason why canning standards use botulinum as the benchmark is that it is ubiquitous in the environment, capable of anaerobic growth and highly pathogenic. Plenty of other bacteria are more heat resistant but, as I noted above, they either aren’t common, aren’t able to germinate within the can or aren’t pathogenic. So food scientists don’t much care about them.
Killing the “most resilient bacterial spores that may be present” would require autoclaving, by definition, and a standard can won’t withstand autoclave pressures, unless you want to autoclave the can in a separate pressure chamber after it has been sealed.
Could it kill Geothermobacterium ferrireducens, thermophilic bacteria that live in Obsidian Pool hot spring (75-90°C) in Yellowstone? (I was going to ask about Strain 121, but that doesn’t qualify as ‘bacterial’ any longer.)