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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improved Processes for Cucumbers, Cabbage, Sweetpotatoes, and Peppers to Make High Quality, Nutritious Products and Reduce Pollution

Location: Food Science Research

Title: Fermented and Acidified Vegetables

item Perez Diaz, Ilenys
item Breidt, Frederick
item Buescher, Ronald -
item Arroyo-Lopez, Francisco -
item Jimenez-Diaz, Rufino -
item Bautista-Gallego, Joaquin -
item Garrido-Fernandez, Antonio -
item Yoon, Sung-Sik -
item Johanningsmeier, Suzanne

Submitted to: Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2014
Publication Date: March 5, 2014
Citation: Perez Diaz, I.M., Breidt, F., Buescher, R.W., Arroyo-Lopez, F.N., Jimenez-Diaz, R., Bautista-Gallego, J., Garrido-Fernandez, A., Yoon, S., Johanningsmeier, S.D. 2014. Fermented and Acidified Vegetables. Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods. Chapter 51.

Technical Abstract: Vegetables may be preserved by fermentation, direct acidification, or a combination of these along with pasteurization or refrigeration and selected additives to yield products with an extended shelf life and enhanced safety. Organic acids such as lactic, acetic, sorbic and benzoic acids along with sodium chloride are used as the primary preservatives for most types of products. Lactic acid is produced naturally in fermented vegetables. Acetic acid is typically added as vinegar. Vinegar is commonly used to acidify unfermented pickle products, better known as fresh-pack, which are also pasteurized. This acid is also occasionally added at the beginning of cucumber fermentations and for flavoring purposes. A description of the chemical composition of selected preserved products is presented in this book chapter. Cucumbers, cabbage, olives, onions and peppers account for the largest volume of vegetables and fruits that are commercially processed worldwide. Lesser quantities of tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, melon rinds, okra, artichokes, beans, and other produce also are pickled. The traditional vegetable fermentation process requires salting. Modifications to this centuries old process, such as acidification with vinegar, have resulted in a variety of modern alternative processing methods yielding a wide array of finished commercial products. The simultaneous presence in the market of preserved vegetables manufactured using traditional and modern methods has generated a need to redefine the terms fermented, acidified and pickled.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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