Appert, Nicolas (nēkôläˈ äpârˈ) [key], also known as François Appert fräNswäˈ, 1750–1841, French originator of a method of canning. In 1795 the French government offered a prize of 12,000 francs for a method of preserving food, especially for use by the army and navy. Appert, already an experienced chef, began to experiment in his workshop at Massy, near Paris, and in 1810 was awarded the prize for his method. The method, based on the idea that heat destroys or neutralizes the ferments that cause food spoilage, involved cooking foods in corked jars. Appert published several editions of his results ( The Art of Preserving, tr. 1920) and with his prize money opened the first commercial cannery in the world.