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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #56596


item TRAIL A, C - NCSU
item FLEMING H P - 6645-10-00
item MCFEETERS R F - 6645-10-00

Submitted to: Food Quality Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The consumption of sauerkraut, a very healthful food, has been declining in recent years. Changing consumer preferences and product variability have contributed to this decline. In this paper, we have characterized commercial sauerkraut as to its chemical and sensory properties in an attempt to determine key properties that might enhance consumer acceptance. .We found that sauerkraut in this survey contained 10-35% less acidity and 13-41% less salt than in surveys taken about 10 and 50 years ago. The products contained five acids, seven main sulfur compounds, four alcohols, and other compounds. Sauerkraut flavor seems to be due to the composite of these, and perhaps other compounds, and not to any unique compound. This information will be useful in determining the potential benefit of controlled fermentation methods to improve the uniformity and quality of sauerkraut. Hopefully, sauerkraut products can be made that will gain increased consumer acceptance.

Technical Abstract: Canned sauerkraut from eight U. S. companies was analyzed using titrimetric, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), and sensory procedures. Overall, the lots contained 10-35% lower concentrations of titratable acidity (TA) and 13-41% lower salt when compared to similar surveys made in 1940 and 1985. The TA ranged dfrom 0.9-1.5%, while salt ranged from 1.4-2.0%. HPLC was used to monitor lactic acid, acetic acid, malic acid, succinic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, mannitol, ethanol, propanol, glycerol, glucose, fructose, and sucrose. HPLC analysis showed low concentrations of propionic acid, propanol, and glycerol, which are not characteristic of lactic acid fermentations. No butyric acid was detected. GC analysis revealed seven main sulfur compounds (hydrogen sulfide, methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide, carbon disulfide, dimethyl disulfide, allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), and dimethyl trisulfide) and six other organic compounds (methanol, ethanol, n propanol, 2-propanol, acetaldehyde, and ethyl acetate) in the headspace of sauerkraut juice. A profile panel characterized aroma, flavor, and after- taste of sauerkraut with ten distinct panel notes. The sour, sulfur, and salt notes had the greatest impact on sauerkraut flavor.