Maraschino Cherry: A Laboratory-Lecture Unit



ABSTRACT:  Oregon State Univ. has offered FST 102 “Maraschino Cherry” as a 1-credit orientation course since 1994. The maraschino cherry serves as a vehicle from which faculty give their disciplinary perspective, for example, the chemistry of the maraschino cherry, processing unit operations, microbiology and food safety, food law, sensory analysis, product development, and so on. This laboratory-lecture unit was developed to provide reference background information, including instructions for making maraschino cherries. The unit explains the functions of SO2, CaCl2, acidulants (citric or HCl), and sodium chlorite in cherry brine formulations, as well as the critical role of pH in cherry brine formulation and processing of maraschino cherries. How to estimate °Brix of sugar syrups by the Pearson square method is described. The unit gives students an understanding of the regulatory distinctions between certified colorants and colorants exempt from certification; artificial, natural, and with other natural flavors (WONF) flavorings; and additives and ingredients. A brief historical perspective of maraschino cherries is given. Study questions and suggested student projects are included.