Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/29/2001
Publication Date: 2/1/2002
Citation: Lu, Z., Fleming, H.P., McFeeters, R.F., Yoon, S.S. 2002. Effects of anions and cations on sugar utilization in cucumber juice fermentation. Journal of Food Science. 67:1155-1161.
Interpretive Summary: About 40% of the pickling cucumber crop is preserved by fermentation in brine. It is important that all of the natural sugars of the cucumber be converted to lactic acid and other products by lactic acid bacteria to avoid later growth and spoilage by gas-forming yeasts. Of the 13 minerals and buffering compounds tested for brine components, manganese and certain organic acid buffer compounds encouraged most sugar to be converted to lactic acid, with utilization of most sugar. This information will be useful in designing a brine composition for controlled cucumber fermentation by farmers and processors of pickling cucumbers.
Technical Abstract: The extent of glucose and fructose utilization during cucumber juice fermentation was affected differentially by the addition of 10-360 mM of selected anions (chloride, nitrate, sulfate, phosphate, acetate, lactate, and citrate) and cations. Inorganic anions generally suppressed utilization of both sugars, particularly at higher concentrations. Acetate and lactate increased utilization of fructose, but not glucose, while citrate increased utilization of both sugars. Of the cations tested, 10-60 mM manganese significantly increased utilization of both sugars, but higher concentrations reduced utilization, as compared with the control. Evidence indicates that brine composition can significantly influence sugar utilization during cucumber fermentation, and may be important in developing controlled fermentation strategies for brined cucumbers.