J. Gorzelany, D. Migut, N. Matłok, A. Styka, P. Kuźniar
Abstract. The study presents an assessment of selected mechanical properties of peel and flesh in raw field-grown cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.), as well as changes occurring in the fruit during the process of pickling, with the use of two types of brine with different composition and with addition of a probiotic. Contents of water in two size fractions of fresh cucumbers were determined using oven-drying method. A puncture test performed with a 5 mm punch probe measured peel and flesh puncture strength and energy as well as apparent modulus of elasticity in raw cucumbers, and following 10, 30, 60 and 90 days of the pickling process. The specified mechanical parameters of cucumber peel and flesh were found to decrease during the pickling process. The reduction in peel and flesh puncture strength is described by a logarithmic function, in energy by linear function and in modulus of elasticity by a power function. The decrease in the puncture strength was slower in the cucumbers subjected to pickling in the brine containing probiotic (B), the decrease in energy was slightly faster in smaller cucumbers (fraction I) subjected to pickling, and during the pickling process in the probiotic containing brine.
Keywords: field-grown cucumber, pickling, brine, probiotic, mechanical properties