Most canning sites err on the side of caution and recommend long processing times and, preferably, a steam canner. As I noted in the last preparedness tip, I prefer steam bath canning for faster processing with less energy, but you have to know its limits and the bacteria you are fighting. For home canning the main fear is botulism and here’s why:
Cl. botulinum is a bacterium that is all around us in soils and the environment. It survives difficult conditions by forming spores that are resistant to heat, chemicals and drying. Under favorable conditions the spores develop into bacteria (germination) and the bacteria grow in the food. During growth they produce a potent neurotoxin (nerve toxin called botulinum toxin) that causes the illness [botulism].