Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Solve Pickles Pickle

Date:
September 6, 2000
Source:
University Of Arkansas
Summary:
The next time you bite into a tasty, crisp pickle, thank food science professor Ron Buescher of the University of Arkansas. When it comes to preserving crisp cucumbers, industrial food processors used to find themselves in a bit of a pickle -- at least until they consulted Buescher.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The next time you bite into a tasty, crisp pickle, thank food science professor Ron Buescher of the University of Arkansas.

When it comes to preserving crisp cucumbers, industrial food processors used to find themselves in a bit of a pickle -- at least until they consulted Buescher.

For centuries, people have used salt water to preserve cucumbers as pickles, and today the food industry processes pickles by the millions. Because the saltwater mixture used to store the pickles can harm the environment, most pickle producers recycle the storage brine from their large vats, using it repeatedly for storing large numbers of pickles. Unfortunately, the brines sometimes become contaminated with an enzyme that destroys the cucumber's crisp surface, leaving behind a soggy substitute.

Buescher began to look at low-cost substances already used by the food industry that could be used to eliminate the pickle preying enzymes. He tested different substances that absorb enzymes and finally dug up something that worked -- a specific kind of clay traditionally used to bleach soybean oil.

Buescher and graduate students Cathy Hamilton and Svetlana Zivanovic will present these findings at the American Chemical Society's 220th national meeting in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Aug. 21.

This particular clay comes from a former river bed along the Florida-Georgia border, and it works better than any other clays the researchers tried. Some of the clays didn't absorb the enzymes efficiently while others expanded, taking up too much volume in the tanks.

"Clays have different characteristics depending upon where you are in the world," Buescher said.

The research has been applied by the pickle industry to large vats. Once the pickles are removed from the vats for processing, the clay is mixed into the vats and allowed to settle, attracting the enzymes through opposite electrical charges. Then the brine, minus the enzymes, can be decanted.

The researchers also found that when the clay becomes saturated with enzymes, it can be washed using water or an alkaline solution. The enzymes will fall away, leaving the clay ready to be used again.

This simple and inexpensive treatment benefits the pickle manufacturers, consumers and the environment by improving pickle texture, conserving resources and reducing the need for wastewater disposal. The scientists continue to explore new methods to improve the treatment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Arkansas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Arkansas. "Researchers Solve Pickles Pickle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904124527.htm>.
University Of Arkansas. (2000, September 6). Researchers Solve Pickles Pickle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904124527.htm
University Of Arkansas. "Researchers Solve Pickles Pickle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904124527.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins