A partial precooking by plunging the food into hot water (82–95 °C) for ½–5 minutes. Also known as scalding, a preferred term, since the original reason for blanching was to whiten food, but the process is also used to preserve colour. Fruits and vegetables are blanched before canning, drying, or freezing, to soften the texture, remove air, denature enzymes that may cause spoilage when frozen, and remove undesirable flavours. Blanching is also performed to remove excess salt from preserved meat, and to aid the removal of skin, e.g. from almonds and tomatoes. There can be a loss of 10–20% of the sugars, salts, and protein, as well as some of the vitamins B1, B2, and niacin, and up to one-third of the vitamin C.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.