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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microbiological preservation of cucumbers for bulk storage by the use of acetic acid and food preservatives

Authors
item Perez Diaz, Ilenys
item McFeeters, Roger

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 6, 2008
Publication Date: August 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/27219
Citation: Perez Diaz, I.M., McFeeters, R.F. 2008. Microbiological preservation of cucumbers for bulk storage by the use of acetic acid and food preservatives. Journal of Food Science. 73(6):M287-M291.

Interpretive Summary: This paper provides guidelines for microbiological preservation of cucumbers without fermentation or application of a thermal process. Preservation is achieved by holding cucumbers in a solution containing acetic acid, sodium benzoate, and calcium chloride to maintain the firmness of the cucumbers. The stored cucumbers may then be further processed into edible pickle products. Preservation of cucumbers in bulk allows them to be shipped and be stored until there is demand for the product. The approach to preservation demonstrated here would reduce the generation of waste and the time and labor required to convert the stored cucumbers into consumer products.

Technical Abstract: Microbial growth did not occur when cucumbers were preserved without a thermal process by storage in solutions containing acetic acid, sodium benzoate, and calcium chloride to maintain tissue firmness. The concentrations of acetic acid and sodium benzoate required to assure preservation were low enough so that stored cucumbers could be converted to edible products without the need to wash out and discard excess acid or preservative. Since no thermal process was required, this method of preservation would be applicable for storing cucumbers in bulk containers. Acid tolerant pathogens died off in less than 24 h with the pH, acetic acid and sodium benzoate concentrations required to assure microbial stability of cucumbers stored at 30 degrees C. Potassium sorbate was not effective as a preservative in this application.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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