I made my cider in an aluminum pot, is it safe?

aluminum pressure canner
Photo credit: EESC slide collection
Q:

Hi, I am processing a bunch of apple cider into quarts and 1/2 gallons. I brought all of the apple cider to a boil to pasteurize it, before processing it in a water bath. Now (unfortunately after the fact) I have realized that I boiled the apple cider in an aluminum pressure cooker. I have heard that high acid foods can react with aluminum and now I am concerned about the safety of the apple cider I just made. My concern is leaching of aluminum into the food. I used a 23 quart pressure cooker to boil it, then poured it into sterile jars, then I cleaned the pressure cooker and used it for the water bath.

- Benton County, Oregon
A:

For the short amount of time your cider was in the pot it would not be a concern. The big concern is for acid foods being in the pot for extended periods of time like fermenting pickles. It could pit the pot. Your cider will be safe to drink. You are much more at risk drinking unpasteurized cider than heating in your canner.

Nellie Oehler
Family and Community Health Faculty
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