Canned salmon in a half-open tin on white background.
Food - Drink
Should You Be Concerned About Crystals Forming On Canned Salmon?
Canned salmon is one of the quickest and easiest ways to enjoy this popular fish's delicious flavor and many health benefits; however, when you open a can, you might see crystal-like formations on the salmon. This is why you may come across this rare occurrence, and why it doesn't mean you have to throw the salmon out.
These crystal formations are called struvite, a magnesium-ammonium-phosphate compound that forms during the salmon's canning and thermal sterilization process. These flavorless, colorless crystals can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a half-inch, and can also form on other canned seafoods like tuna and mackerel.
According to USDA, these crystals are composed of natural components found in the fish, and are not harmful to your health. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says to dissolve the grains in warmed-up acidic liquids, such as vinegar or lemon juice; if they do not break easily or disintegrate, you may actually have glass in your salmon.