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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #384942

Research Project: Improved Vegetable Processing Methods to Reduce Environmental Impact, Enhance Product Quality and Reduce Food Waste

Location: Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit

Title: Changes in the free amino acid profile of pickling cucumber during lactic acid fermentation

item FIDELER MOORE, JENNIFER - North Carolina State University
item DUVIVIER, RACHEL - North Carolina State University
item Johanningsmeier, Suzanne

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/29/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This study reports changes in the free amino acid profiles of raw, fermented and acidified cucumbers, which may be valuable for understanding the impact of these foods on human health and nutrition. This information is useful for food microbiologists studying the metabolism of lactic acid bacteria during fermentation and/or designing starter cultures and could contribute to the development of novel fermented cucumber pickle products with enhanced nutritional value.

Technical Abstract: Free amino acid (FAA) profiles of fresh, acidified, naturally fermented and starter culture fermented cucumbers were analyzed by liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. Fermented cucumbers contained more total FAA than acidified cucumbers (1302 ± 102 mg/kg and 635 ± 35 mg/kg, respectively). Neither brine salt level (2%, 3%, 4%, 6% NaCl) nor starter culture addition significantly affected total FAA in fermented cucumber. Glutamine (1491.4 ± 69.3 mg/kg), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA, 269.6 ± 21.4 mg/kg), asparagine (113.0 ± 6.4 mg/kg) and citrulline (110.3 ± 8.5 mg/kg) were the most abundant FAA in fresh pickling cucumber, while GABA (181.3 ± 21.5 mg/kg), isoleucine (165.2 ± 11.2 mg/kg), leucine (129.8 ± 10.9 mg/kg), and lysine (110.9 ± 5.0 mg/kg) were the most abundant FAA in fermented cucumber. GABA and ornithine were produced during fermentation, indicating glutamate decarboxylase and arginine deiminase activities. Notably, ornithine was significantly higher in natural (63.3 ± 31.5 mg/kg) versus starter culture fermented cucumbers (3.0 ± 0.7 mg/kg). This is the most complete report of FAA composition of fresh or fermented pickling cucumbers and aids in understanding the impact of fermentation conditions on cucumber amino acid profiles while providing insight for manipulating fermentations for health promotion and consumer acceptance.