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Title: Commercial scale cucumber fermentations brined with calcium chloride instead of sodium chloride

item Perez Diaz, Ilenys
item MCFEETERS, ROGER - Retired ARS Employee
item MOELLER, LISA - Mount Olive Pickle Company
item Johanningsmeier, Suzanne
item Hayes, Janet
item FORNEA, D. SETH - Former ARS Employee
item GILBERT, CARL - B & G Foods
item CUSTIS, NANCY - B & G Foods
item BEENE, KELLY - Mount Olive Pickle Company
item BASS, DWIGHT - Mount Olive Pickle Company

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2015
Publication Date: 10/29/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Perez Diaz, I.M., McFeeters, R.F., Moeller, L., Johanningsmeier, S.D., Hayes, J.S., Fornea, D., Gilbert, C., Custis, N., Beene, K., Bass, D. 2015. Commercial scale cucumber fermentations brined with calcium chloride instead of sodium chloride. Journal of Food Science. 80(12):M2827-M2836. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13107.

Interpretive Summary: While the reduction of sodium chloride in cucumber fermentations has been significant; it is imperative to develop new technologies to respond to the current demands of regulatory agencies. This manuscript focuses on the results of using calcium chloride instead of sodium chloride for cucumber commercial fermentations; describes how to overcome the challenges associated with the salt replacement, and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of this new sodium chloride free system.

Technical Abstract: Development of low salt cucumber fermentation processes present opportunities to reduce the amount of sodium chloride (NaCl) that reaches fresh water streams from industrial activities. The objective of this research was to translate cucumber fermentation brined with calcium chloride instead of NaCl to commercial scale production. Although calcium chloride brined cucumber fermentations were stable in laboratory experiments, commercial scale trials using 6440 L open-top tanks rapidly underwent secondary cucumber fermentation. It was understood that a limited air purging routine, use of a starter culture and addition of preservatives to the cover brine aids in achieving the desired complete cucumber fermentation. The modified process was used for subsequent commercial trials using 12490 and 28400 L opentop tanks packed with variable size cucumbers and from multiple lots, and cover brines containing calcium chloride and potassium sorbate to equilibrated concentrations of 100 and 6 mM, respectively. Lactobacillus plantarum LA0045 was inoculated to 10^6 CFU/mL, and air purging was applied for two 2–3 h periods per day for the first 10 d of fermentation and one 2–3 h period per day between days 11 and 14. All fermentations were completed, as evidenced by the full conversion of sugars to lactic acid, decrease in pH to 3.0, and presented microbiological stability for a minimum of 21 d. This calcium chloride process may be used to produce fermented cucumbers intended to be stored short term in a manner that reduces pollution and waste removal costs.