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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334940

Research Project: Improved Processes for the Preservation and Utilization of Vegetables, Including Cucumber, Sweetpotato, Cabbage, and Peppers to Produce Safe, High Quality Products with Reduced Energy Use and Waste

Location: Food Science Research

Title: Physical properties of NaCl-free cucumber fermentation cover brine containing calcium chloride and glycerin and apparent freezing injury of the brined fruits

item DIAZ, JOSCELIN - North Carolina State University
item Perez Diaz, Ilenys
item MESSER, NADYA - Gedney Foods Company
item SAFFERMAN, STEVEN - Michigan State University

Submitted to: Journal of Food Processing and Preservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2017
Publication Date: 2/2/2018
Citation: Diaz, J.T., Perez Diaz, I.M., Messer, N., Safferman, S.I. 2018. Physical properties of NaCl-free cucumber fermentation cover brine containing calcium chloride and glycerin and apparent freezing injury of the brined fruits. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 42(4):e13582.

Interpretive Summary: Sodium chloride, the main component of table salt, is used in cucumber pickling primarily to control microbial growth. However, in commercial operations using 40,000 L tanks, sodium chloride is also used as an antifreeze. Development of cucumber pickling technology without sodium chloride to reduce the environmental impact, thus, demands the identification of strategies to manage freezing damage of pickles as they are stored in commercial tanks outdoors. This study evaluated the use of calcium chloride, another salt, and glycerin as antifreeze for commercial scale cucumber fermentations. It was learned that 14.5% glycerin, 18% calcium chloride or a combination of 13% glycerin and 5% calcium chloride is needed to match the antifreezing activity of 6% sodium chloride, amount currently used in commercial cucumber fermentations. Water loss was the main chilling injury observed in fermented cucumbers.

Technical Abstract: Use of glycerin and calcium chloride to reduce the freezing point and improve quality of bulk stored fermented cucumbers brined without NaCl, was explored. The incidence of pre-freezing injury on the fruits, caused by deposition in tanks containing cushion brine prepared with 2.5% calcium chloride, was excluded by determining the liquid and fruits densities and buoyancy force. The NaCl-free cover brine thermal properties and freezing point, and the frozen fruits water loss were determined to estimate freezing damage. Cover brines supplemented with 14.5% glycerin, 18% calcium chloride, or 14% glycerin and 5% calcium chloride were needed to match the freezing point of the 6% NaCl cover brine, typically used for fermentation. Thermal properties of the NaCl-free cover brine were insignificantly affected by temperature or composition. Water loss was the main freezing injury in brined cucumbers. Supplementation of calcium chloride and/or glycerin in fermentation cover brines helped minimize fermented cucumbers water loss associated with freezing.