Chemical and colour changes related to the use of sorbates and ascorbic acid in pickled cucumbers and caperberries during long-term storage


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The evolution of two additives, potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid, during long-term storage of pickled vegetables, as well as the impact of these additives on product colour, was investigated. For this investigation, cucumbers and caperberries packed in both glass bottles and plastic pouches were used. In general, the added sorbate level remained unchanged during long-term storage irrespective of the packaging material. However, the ascorbic acid gradually disappeared at a significantly higher rate in plastic than in glass containers, and its level was higher in caperberries than in cucumbers. In the latter, the presence of sorbate caused a higher degradation rate of ascorbic acid compared to the absence of sorbate. Ascorbic acid had a protective effect against surface colour degradation in cucumbers packed in plastic pouches, whereas sorbate enhanced such degradation. However, in both pickled vegetables, ascorbic acid degradation had a significant impact on brine browning, particularly in plastic pouches.