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Judging Home Preserved Foods National Center for Home Food Preservation University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service College of Family and Consumer Sciences in cooperation with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p i The University of Georgia and Ft Valley State University the U S
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. College of Family and Consumer Sciences, in cooperation with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Prepared for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Elizabeth L Andress Ph D Extension Foods Specialist and. Allison M Oesterle Educational Program Specialist, This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research Education and. Extension Service U S Department of Agriculture under Agreement No 00 51110 9762. The University of Georgia and Ft Valley State University the U S Department of Agriculture and counties of. the state cooperating The Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Georgia College of. Agricultural and Environmental Sciences offer educational programs assistance and materials to all people. without regard to race color national origin age sex or disability. An Equal Opportunity Employer Affirmative Action Organization. Committed to a Diverse Work Force,FDNS E 90 August 2003. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work Acts of May 8 and June 30 1914 The University of. Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the U S Department of Agriculture. cooperating,Gale A Buchanan Dean and Director, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p i. Acknowledgments, The authors would like to thank the following for their professional review of this publication. Jananne Finck M S R D Nutrition and Wellness Educator University of Illinois Extension. Barbara Ingham Ph D Extension Food Scientist University of Wisconsin Madison. Mary A Keith Ph D L D Extension Agent Foods Nutrition and Health University of. Carolyn A Raab Ph D R D L D Extension Foods and Nutrition Specialist Oregon State. University,References, Andress EL and Harrison JA editors 1999 So Easy to Preserve 4th ed Bulletin 989. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. Bastin S 1998 Judging Preserved Foods Publication FN SSB 108 University of. Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Brady P Undated Fair Judging Manual University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension. Keith MA Undated Judging Home Canned Foods A Slide Set Script North Central. Regional Extension Publication 258, Kendall P 1986 4 H Food Preservation Member s Manual MJ1040A Colorado State. University Cooperative Extension Service, Oregon State University Extension Service 2002 4 H Checksheets Oregon State. University, USDA Extension Service 1994rev Complete Guide to Home Canning Agricultural. Information Bulletin 539, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p ii. Judging Home Preserved Foods,Table of Contents,Acknowledgments ii. Introduction 1,Goals of Judging 1,Methods of Judging. Judging System 2,Types of Judging 3,Selection and Orientation of Judges. How to Select Judges 3,Comments from Judges 4,Making Additional Decisions About the Competition. Safety the Primary Consideration 5,Assistance During Judging 7. General Suggestions for Entry Guidelines 7,Judging Home Canned Foods 10. Basics of Acceptable Entries 10,Processing Method and Recipe 10. Containers 11,Appearance of Contents 14,Attractiveness 15. Judging by Appearance vs Tasting 16,Judging Canned Fruits and Fruit Juices 18. Judging Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Products 23,Judging Canned Vegetables 26. Judging Canned Meats and Seafoods 32,Judging Jams Jellies and Preserves 34. Judging Pickled and Fermented Foods 38,Judging Speciality Foods 41. Judging Home Dried Foods 43,Judging Dried Fruits and Leathers 44. Judging Dried Vegetables and Herbs 45,Judging Dried Meats and Jerky 46. Summary 46, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p iii. Table of Contents continued, Appendix A Suggested Guidelines for Fairs or Competitive Judging Events 48. Appendix B Home Canning Summary Sheets for Judges 51. Fruit and Fruit Products 52,Tomato Products 58,Pressure Canning 63. Pickled Products 69,Sweet Preserves 73,Appendix C Sample Score Sheets without Points 76. Canned Fruits Tomatoes and Vegetables 77,Canned Juices 78. Jellies 79,Jams and Other Sweet Spreads 80,Fruit Preserves 81. Pickles and Relishes 82,Flavored Vinegars 83,Barbecue Sauces 84. Meats Poultry and Seafood 85,Dried Foods 86, Appendix D Sample Score Sheets with Suggested Points 87. Canned Fruits Tomatoes and Vegetables 88,Canned Juices 89. Jellies 90,Jams and Other Sweet Spreads 91,Fruit Preserves 92. Pickles and Relishes 93,Flavored Vinegars 94,Barbecue Sauces 95. Meats Poultry and Seafood 96,Dried Foods 97,Appendix E Sample 4 H Score Sheets 98. Score Sheets from Oregon State University Extension Service 4 H 99. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p iv. Introduction, Fairs festivals and special events Judging of exhibits is often included as a way. to add excitement and anticipation In order for these activities to take place in a. meaningful way however knowledgeable people willing to participate as judges must. be identified Judging should be a recognition of quality work on the part of those. who enter exhibits Remember each exhibitor thinks his or her exhibit worthy of a. Judging requires basic rules and standards from the sponsor as well as. concentration and practice on the part of the judges It is essential that the judges. be well informed about the activity they are critiquing and that they know the. standards required for prize winning quality Applying uniform standards is the only. way to defend placing decisions give reasons for your placements and avoid the. pitfalls of personal bias, Sound objectives for conducting competitions and judging events involving foods. To appreciate standards of safety and quality, To recognize entries which best represent recommended standards. To decide which entries achieve their intended purpose most effectively. To determine ranking of competing articles in relation to one another. Goals of Judging, Judging in competitive events is a term that implies a qualified person makes. decisions based on standards of quality However judging not only produces a. ranking or score of a product against these standards it also affects the person who. has created the product There are a lot of emotions and feelings of self esteem or. worth wrapped up in an entry of homemade foods A judge has an important role in. helping create a positive growth experience The development of people is a priority. concern Projects should be viewed as a means to an end not an end in. themselves, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 1. Two major purposes for judging include,1 To judge the quality of the project or exhibit. Judging the entry involves the objective appraisal of the finished product in a. uniform way, 2 To contribute to the learning experience of the exhibitor. Contributing to the exhibitor s learning experience is equally important It can. show that the amount of effort expended in developing the entry is valued It also. represents an interest in and valuing of the person The learning experience of. the exhibitor can be enhanced by personal notes from or contact with the. No exhibit is so poorly done that it is not worthy of an encouraging comment. No exhibit is so well done that some improvement may not be made. Methods of Judging,Judging Systems, There are basically two systems of judging that are commonly used in fair judging. the American System and the Danish System Check with the superintendent or. agent in charge before you begin judging to clarify which system you will be using. and how many placings you will be required to make. American System Exhibits in this system are compared against a standard of. perfection as well as against the other entries in the competition All exhibits in a. particular class are looked at and ranked with only one selected for first place. second place third place etc If there are no high quality exhibits at the judge s. discretion exhibits may be placed in the appropriate position even if it is second or. third place, Danish System In this system all exhibitors receive a ribbon All exhibits are. grouped according to quality and there may be multiple entries that get the same. ranking and ribbon Quality may vary from excellent to fair and ribbon categories. may be blue red white and or yellow In this system of judging exhibits are not in. competition with or compared to each other, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 2. There is no formula to determine the number of ribbons to be given in the Danish. System Quality determines the ranking for blue red white and or yellow ribbon. A blue ribbon is generally recognized and used for excellence Red ribbons are. given for an adequate exhibit that does not meet all the standards White and or. yellow ribbons are given when the exhibit is below standard quality and. improvement is definitely needed Under the Danish system participation. ribbons are given to recognize the efforts of the exhibitor. Types of Judging, There are two types of judging commonly used in county fairs and competitive. events open judging and closed judging, Open judging is an open assessment by the judge before a group about the items in. the exhibit The exhibitors may be present All exhibitors benefit from the discussion. in open judging although extra care must be taken so that the judge s comments do. not embarrass exhibitors or cause unnecessarily hurt feelings. Closed judging is done in a private area where only the officials are allowed until. the judging is completed This is usually done when there are a large number of. items in the exhibit and or when there is not enough room for spectators to listen to. open judging The judging is conducted prior to the opening of the event. In some judging situations score sheets are provided for judges to record comments. for the exhibitor about the qualities desired and standards used for judging. Selection and Orientation of Judges,How to Select Judges. Judging may be done by, The individual exhibitor as s he completes each step and each item. Extension educators volunteer leaders or other teachers as they assist others. and work with groups at contests or fairs for Extension or community sponsored. events agricultural or commodity themed events e g strawberry or peach. Professional judges usually paid at special contests or fairs. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 3. Judges should,Be attractively dressed and well groomed. Have a pleasant manner smile be prompt, Be flexible anticipate changes in time needed to do the job right for example. Understand the abilities and tastes of the age level of competitors that are being. Be tactful and concerned about the participants and their feelings. Offer compliments and constructive criticism,Avoid being flippant or sarcastic. Hide personal likes and dislikes,Make quick and firm decisions. Avoid consulting with spectators,Avoid talking about other fairs they have judged. Be familiar with the products being judged, Keep up to date with current techniques and trends. Make comments that will help the individual improve. Be as consistent as possible,Recognize quality standards. Give the exhibitor the benefit of the doubt,Offer reasons for decisions when appropriate. Comments from Judges, Not all situations allow for recording or making comments to the exhibitor This is. unfortunate because the judge s comments are an important part of the judging. process An exhibitor benefits from learning his her strengths and weaknesses and. receiving suggestions for changes When permitted one of the main goals of the. judge s comments to the exhibitor should be to help the exhibitor feel pride and. accomplishment in the project as well as to obtain ideas for improvement. Each judge should remember to, Judge the item not the exhibitor Help participants feel more positive about. themselves as a result of the experience, Be consistent Judge all projects against the same standards. Start comments with a positive remark Write remarks for improvement and try to. inspire the exhibitor for future work Consider individual capabilities and levels of. experience, Keep an open mind about methods techniques Don t consider just one. technique or method as being acceptable if there are other acceptable options. Encourage the exhibitors to analyze their own work Ask how their work might be. changed or if other methods could be used for more satisfying results. Inspire the exhibitor to plan ahead for future successful projects. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 4. Making Additional Decisions About the Competition,SAFETY the Primary Consideration. Individuals usually enter their preserved foods in contests because of pride in their. creative activity and because it s fun However safety must be a consideration in. recognizing quality home food preservation activities and products Judging and. competitive events can actually be opportunities to teach people about safe food. preservation methods, Safety of the food should be the primary consideration when awarding honors to food. preservation entries It is a consideration however that makes judging preserved. foods more difficult than some other types of entries Unsafe methods should not be. rewarded and the exhibitors should not leave the event thinking that their unsafe. methods are approved and can be shared with others. There are some characteristics of the preserved food that can be used in evaluating. its safety even if it does not look obviously spoiled Each jar of a canned food for. example should be labeled with the processing time and method used i e boiling. water or pressure canning at how many pounds pressure Types of jars and lids. used should be a consideration as should the condition of the jar and lid Post. processing leaks in canned foods can be detected in even apparently sealed jars if. the screw band is removed Judges should be allowed to disqualify entries that are. not labeled with an appropriate process have not used USDA or Extension endorsed. canning methods and processing times or that show common signs of spoilage such. as cloudy liquids bubbling and unsealed lids The following section General. Suggestions for Entry Guidelines gives some more specific suggestions that can. help the judge determine safety, If desired by the event organizers foods can be opened and taken out of containers if. needed especially in close competitions This may let the judge better determine. color texture piece size corrosion of the underside of lids and or presence of. unnatural deposits for example For one day events where foods do not have to. remain on exhibit after judging opening the product may actually be desirable. For events where exhibits usually do remain for days of exhibition or are judged. some time before the event actually begins the event organizers need to think. through how open food will be handled e g if it is determined necessary to open. some jars will they remain on display during the fair Should the opened jars be. emptied and the ribbon displayed on an empty jar Or does the exhibitor have to. appear within so many hours of judging to take the product home If opening jars is. routine should two jars of each food be submitted per entry so that one remains for. display Who will clean up open jars of food Will opened jars be returned to. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 5. exhibitors especially if they have to be cleaned up to be stored until the exhibitor. Food that is identified as unsafe or potentially unsafe by judges must be labeled with. some type of sticker so that even the exhibitor does not keep or use the food after the. event Judges must have the authority to dispose of any foods that are considered. hazardous to consume This includes disposal of the jar or packaging that contains. the food Fair attendants must also have the authority to dispose of any potentially. hazardous foods at any time throughout the event The seals of canned foods for. example may break at any time or there may be signs of spoilage that develop in the. jars as they sit at the event, The personal safety of the judge should also be considered Whether or not to. taste canned foods is an extremely important issue to address It is recommended. that home canned foods not be tasted by judges Not all spoilage can be detected. by normal human senses taste odor appearance etc And even though. dishonest exhibitors may be rare labels may occasionally contain falsified process. times and methods, If event organizers are insistent that tasting take place the only canned foods that. should be tasted are jellies jams and other fruit preserves made with high. concentrations of sugar or flavored vinegars There should be enough sugar and. acid in these products to protect against the growth of most harmful microorganisms. Especially if these products show signs of spoilage such as mold yeasty odors. clumps that could be microbial growth instead of poorly mixed ingredients or sugar. crystals or unnatural cloudiness the judges should be allowed the discretion of not. tasting In fact these foods should not be tasted and the judges should be cautioned. not to take a chance on anything that appears suspect Improperly pickled foods and. salsas may allow the growth of harmful microorganisms because they are not acid. enough to be processed as acidified foods, An additional personal safety consideration for judges is their access to facilities for. handwashing and sanitizing Jars of leaking food can be picked up before realizing. the outside is wet Jars may be close to leaking if seals have broken and the first. movement off or across the judges table will cause overflow of liquid This liquid in. unsealed jars can contain harmful microorganisms or toxins The judges need to be. able to immediately wash off and sanitize their hands The work surface should also. be sanitized after any leak spill or suspect food is detected after jars are opened In. general plenty of paper towels and or disposable wet towelettes are helpful to have. for judges at all times An extra that might be appreciated are alcohol containing gel. type sanitizers for use after handwashing, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 6. Assistance During Judging, Judges appreciate organizational strategies that make their job as efficient and. orderly as possible Volunteers or paid superintendents can carry out tasks that do. not really require the judges time These assistants can. Check that entries have been labeled for the appropriate class. Have entries organized by class or category before the judges arrive. Check that the number of entries on the table or shelf match the number. recorded in official entry lists, Pull aside unsealed jars of canned food leaking containers etc and point. them out to the judge as s he reaches that class to judge. Record results in required records or computer databases. Write comments on official records as if judges provide them verbally. Place ribbons or awards on the winning entries, Arrange the exhibits for public display in the fair or event. Be available to help clean up spills obtain water for judges to drink or. replenish supplies such as paper towels or napkins paper plates spoons etc. Enforce rules that may be established to protect judges and the quality of. judging e g no smoking, Label food identified as unsafe unsealed or spoiled by the judges. Release entries to exhibitors at the end of the event. General Suggestions for Entry Guidelines, This information is also provided in Appendix A in an easy to duplicate format ready. to use with event organizing committees or other planning activities. General Rules, 1 All entries must have been preserved within the last year 12 months If fresh. produce is used the exhibit should have been preserved within the last growing. season in no case should this exceed one year, 2 Unsealed exhibits or products showing signs of spoilage will not be judged. 3 Exhibits must be labeled with the name of the food the date preserved and the. method of food preservation Entries without required labeling will not be judged. If the food is canned the label must state whether the food was hot or raw. packed boiling water or pressure canned the process time and the pounds of. pressure if pressure canned The entry should also be accompanied by the. recipe used A judge needs to know if the proper amount of citric acid lemon. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 7. juice or vinegar has been added to canned tomatoes for example The judge. also has to know whether certain foods have meat low acid vegetables. starches etc added, 1 Peaches hot pack boiling water canner 20 minutes July 13 2003. 2 Spaghetti sauce hot pack pressure canner 11 pounds pressure 45 minutes July 14 2003. 3 Dried peaches electric dehydrator June 6 2003, In addition some contests require that the source of canning instructions is. 1 USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning 1994, 2 A county or state Extension publication name date. 4 An exhibit may not have been previously entered in the same event. 5 Judges are instructed not to award a premium or placing unless the exhibits are. 6 Exhibits without competition will be judged on their own merit and will receive an. award or placing only if determined worthy by the judges. 7 Judging will be done by comparison to recognized standards of quality and safety. provide a copy of the scoresheet if one is used and by comparison to other. exhibits to determine placings within a class first second third etc. 8 Exhibits usually will not be judged by tasting visual inspection will be used for the. most part Jars may need to be opened however when spoilage is suspected or. differences among entries are very small, 9 Youth exhibits are judged separately from adults. 10 The decisions of the judges are final, 11 Foods that are opened during judging will be marked by the judges and should. not be eaten when the fair or event is over Any foods that are considered. hazardous to consume will be disposed of by the judges or fair attendants This. includes the jar or packaging that contains the food. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 8. Additional Considerations for Canned Foods, 1 Canned products should be prepared and processed according to current. USDA Extension Service information Event organizers should not offer. classes or entry categories for which there are not scientific research. based processes available The county Cooperative Extension Service is a. good source to make sure you have the most up to date USDA information. 2 Canned products must be canned in clear standard half pint pint or quart jars. in good condition with new two piece canning lids flat lid and band Note. There are now 12 ounce canning jars available If there is not a USDA. recommended process time available for the 12 ounce jar these may be used. with a pint jar canning process recommendation The process time for pints. cannot be reduced for the smaller jar size however If there is only a USDA. process for a half pint jar size then a 12 ounce jar would be disqualified for lack. of a recommended USDA process time, 3 Jar sizes for which there are no USDA canning recommendations will not be. 4 Jams jellies marmalades and preserves sealed with paraffin will not be judged. these products must be heat sealed canned, 5 Fancy padded lids fabric overwraps or cozies interfere with the judging process. and should not be used,Additional Considerations for Dried Foods. 1 Dried foods should be prepared according to current Cooperative Extension. Service information, 2 Dried foods may be handled by judges to determine stage of doneness. 3 Dried foods should be displayed in appropriate storage containers glass jars. with rust free lids heavy weight plastic food quality bags vaccum sealed plastic. food bags etc, National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 9. Judging Home Canned Foods,Basics of Acceptable Entries. Rules for acceptable entries and scoring methods will differ among fairs It is very. important that the judge review the catalog of a fair or event ahead of time in order to. make certain that the rules of the current fair or event are considered in making. determinations, Judging preserved foods requires study training and good judgement Judges must. be knowledgeable about food preservation and must know what the various types of. products should look like if they are of prize winning quality. Ideally a scorecard should be completed for each exhibit However if there are a. large number of entries completing a scorecard for each one is often too time. consuming It is therefore important that judges become very familiar with the. criteria associated with the various types of preserved foods in order to judge them. accurately without a scorecard,Processing Method and Recipe. The first thing to consider is the processing method and choice of foods The label. should have a time and temperature boiling water or pressure process combination. that is recommended for that food in the latest edition of the USDA Complete Guide. to Home Canning or state Extension Service publication Event organizers should not. offer classes entry categories for which there are not scientific research based. processes available If the event is sponsored by an association or company that has. their own published canning directions these may be included in allowed processes. However if there is any question as to the reliability and scientific basis of the. recommendations the best practice would be to have these processes reviewed by a. competent authority to determine if they might be unsafe. Low acid foods must be pressure canned These foods include meats poultry. seafood vegetables and some combination foods such as soup mixes. spaghetti sauce with meat and salsas, Acid and appropriately acidified foods expected pH less than 4 6 such as. pickles may be processed in a boiling water canner However many fruits. also have published pressure canning alternative processes. Jams jellies and fruit preserves should be processed in a boiling water. Paraffin should not be used to seal jams jellies or any food. Open kettle canning putting hot food in a jar putting the lid on it and giving it. no further processing is not acceptable for any canned product. National Center for Home Food Preservation Judging Home Preserved Foods p 10.