Cherry pepper pickling: Mass transport and firmness parameters and stability indicators
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Mass transfer between whole red cherry pepper and pickling solution, as well as firmness and stability indicators of the pickled product, were studied. Experiments were conducted at atmospheric pressure with an initial vacuum pulse (50 cm Hg for 3 min) (PV) or without a vacuum pulse (PA), in sodium chloride (10-15 g/100 g) and acetic acid (2.3-3.5 g/100 g) solutions, during 0.3-30 days. Statistically significant equations were obtained (p ¿ 0.05) to describe the pickling and firmness parameters of cherry pepper, and stability indicators. PA treatments mainly caused pepper dehydration, but PV promoted water and solutes gain. Firmness values were slightly lower in PV than in PA treatments. Vacuum pulse pickling allowed achieving lower pH and aw values (pH = 2.97, aw = 0.964) than pickling without the initial vacuum pulse (pH = 3.33, aw = 0.972). PV treatments resulted in weight gain of cherry peppers and succeeded in reducing pH and aw to levels that would enhance pepper stability. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.