FoodReference.com (since 1999)
Food Articles, News & Features Section
Home | Food Articles | Food Trivia | Today In Food History | Food Timeline | Videos | Recipes
Cooking Tips | Food Quotes | Who's Who | Food Trivia Quizzes | Crosswords | Food Poems
Free Magazines | Recipe Contests | Culinary Schools | Gourmet Tours | Food Festivals
An Agricultural Research Service scientist has found that turmeric, a spice used from antiquity as a coloring agent, could also be used as a natural antioxidant to keep dill pickles fresh after packaging in plastic jars or pouches.
The shelf life of food products stored in plastic containers has been known to be shorter than that of products stored in glass containers, partly because the gas-permeable plastic allows oxygen to seep through over time.
Food technologist Roger McFeeters, with the ARS Food Science Research Unit in Raleigh, N.C., worked with Katherine Cleary, a graduate student at North Carolina State University-Raleigh. They found that turmeric prevented formation of aldehydes—compounds that cause oxidative off-flavors in pickled cucumbers—when the pickles were packaged under conditions that simulated plastic containment over time.
The study was published recently in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Consumers are accustomed to purchasing pickles packed in glass jars. However, plastic containers are lighter in weight, don’t break, and are easier to open. As a result, there is interest among processors in putting more pickled vegetable products into plastic packages.
The researchers found that some aldehydes were present in pickles that were packed in the laboratory under airtight conditions, as well as in fresh-pack commercial pickle samples provided. However, excessive production of aldehydes occurred when they injected oxygen into the same packaged pickles.
Using other similar samples, the researchers then added an amount of turmeric typically used commercially as a coloring agent and an amount of oxygen comparable to that which would enter a sealed plastic container over a one-year storage period.
The amounts of aldehydes produced in the pickles with added turmeric were maintained at concentrations similar to those amounts present in high-quality commercial pickle products. The findings indicate that turmeric is an effective antioxidant for fresh-pack dill pickles, according to the authors.
By Rosalie Marion Bliss (June 23, 2006)
Agricultural Research Service, USDA: ( www.ars.usda.gov )
ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: [email protected]
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2017 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.