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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science Research » Research » Research Project #435272

Research Project: Influence of Raw Cabbage Characteristics on Sauerkraut Fermentation and Quality

Location: Food Science Research

Project Number: 6070-41000-008-11-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

The objectives of this research are to determine if variation in the moisture content of cabbage relates to quality of fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) and evaluate a simple, rapid brining test that could be used on incoming raw cabbage as an indicator of its suitability for fermentation.

A representative sample of cabbage from each lot selected for the study will be sent to the USDA-ARS SEA Food Science Research Unit in Raleigh, North Carolina. The cabbage will be shredded and samples collected for analysis of organic acids, sugars, and calcium. Samples of the shredded cabbage will also be subjected to texture analysis using a Kramer shear method and moisture content determinations. Cabbage from the same lot will be fermented at OlyKraut using standard commercial practices. Samples of the fermented cabbage will be shipped to the Raleigh lab for chemical and texture analysis along with the production and quality evaluation data collected for this lot of cabbage at Oly Kraut. The study will include cabbage types that represent the range of those encountered during normal production as well as a few that are expected to result in poor quality (as previously encountered). A rapid salting test will also be explored to determine whether this method of evaluating incoming cabbage could be used as a simple tool for predicting sauerkraut quality.