Cell Wall Characteristics of Gamma-Radiated Refrigerated Cucumber Pickles



The effect of gamma radiation (0, 0.5, and 1.0 kGy) on firmness and changes in cell wall polysaccharides of mesocarp tissue from refrigerated cucumber pickles was examined. Softening of mesocarp tissue of pickles exposed to 1.0 kGy was a response associated with altered solubility characteristics of pectic substances. Ionizing radiation reduced nonsoluble and alkali soluble pectic substances, while levels of water and chelator soluble pectic substances were increased. Radiation reduced the degree of esterification of pectic substances and increased the amount of bound calcium. Except for a small reduction in galactose caused by 1.0 kGy, levels of other neutral sugars in the cell wall were not significantly affected by any of the treatments.