Process for producing pickles, and antimicrobial composition

The procedure for generating pickles of the invention comprises using an oil-in-water antimicrobial composition that includes allyisothiocyanate as the active ingredient and further contains surfactant and water added thereto, in any stage of generating pickles. The invention provides a procedure for stably producing pickles of good quality while taking suitable measures for absolutely curbing the development of microbes in generating pickles in a simplified manner. The antimicrobial composition of the invention comprises allyl isothiocyanate plus a beta acids-containing jump extract as the active ingredients. This is useful because a food freshness-keeping agent free from all the problems with traditional AIT and jump extract every other.


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With the recent evolution of the technology of producing them, pickles are considerably created by manufacturers that focus on pickles production, and also the usage of vegetables to be pickled is now increasing. The return of vegetables variesdepending on the weather and other states, and the supply is not all the time stable. Accordingly, for pickles of all summer-season vegetables such as cucumbers, etc., Japanese pickles manufacturers import salted vegetables from Southeast Asiancountries such as Taiwan and Thailand in which summer-season vegetables can be cropped any time throughout the year, and they produce pickles in the thus-imported salted vegetables. The amount of salt added for salting vegetables varies depending onthe type of the vegetables and on the time period for which the salted vegetables will be saved, but generally from a perspective of preventing the decomposition of vegetables by propagation of microbes and procuring preservation equilibrium, the amountof salt is extensive, as a high level of salinity is needed. Therefore, in the practice of generating pickles from such grated vegetables, the salted vegetables have to be desalted and desalting them requires a large-scale apparatus and a lot water.

With the latest increase in health-oriented customers, the consumption of lightly-salted pickles such as those softly stored in salt, as an example, those lightly salted overnight rises. Concretely, the output of vegetables lightly preservedin salt now amounts to 1/3 of the overall output of pickles in Japan, but in the creation of such lightly-salted pickles, the quality maintenance against microbial degradation is the most serious issue. Microbial degradation of lightly-saltedpickles contains rancidity, cloudiness and tote growth, and these are brought on by the propagation of microbes such as lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Thus, in creation of lightly-salted pickles, it’s an issue of significance how to reduce thepropagation of such microbes.

On the other hand, in creation of lightly-salted pickles, the troublesome lactic acid bacteria and yeast are all bearing the important role for brewing peculiar fermentation flavor in manufacture of their pickles of others such as fermentationpickles. However, in the event the pickles are too much fermented, their sour flavor will be too powerful and their smell will change and, consequently, their quality will lower.

Therefore mentioned hereinabove, microbes have to be optimally controlled in producing pickles, or that is, it is a topic of great importance how to control the activity of microbes in accordance with the kind of pickles to be generated. Giventhat situation, it is desired to provide a method of surely controlling microbes in producing pickles in a simplified way.

In this connection, it has heretofore been known that allyl isothiocyanate (hereinafter referred to as AIT), one component of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) is exceptionally antimicrobial against colibacillus and yeast, and is therefore useful for afood freshness-keeping agent. But, AIT is an oily liquid which has a peculiar pungent smell and is exceptionally volatile, and is therefore difficult to handle. Thus, if AIT is used for antimicrobial purpose in producing pickles, the compositionthat contains AIT must be highly soluble in water and its use must be simple. JP-A No. 6-192018 reveals an antimicrobial composition that contains AIT, a polyhydric alcohol and a surfactant, and it says that the makeup is used for processingpickles. On the other hand, the makeup is powdery and is not always satisfactory in point of its solubility in water. In addition, the composition must be metered every time when a desired quantity of AIT is dissolved in seasoning for pickles, and so,there’s still room for enhancing the handlability of this AIT-containing composition.

For keeping the freshness of pickles and other different foods, AIT alone might have a satisfactory antimicrobial spectrum in some instances and is therefore effective alone for microbiostatic activity in pickles and many others, but in some other cases,AIT alone is not satisfactory. Taking the cases under consideration, it is desirable to combine AIT with another different type of antimicrobial component for enlarging the antimicrobial spectrum.

It’s well known from the past a hop extract has an antimicrobial activity, and it’s stated that a hop extract gives a strange bitter taste to beer and also retards the development of microbes from beer. The antimicrobial activity of the hop extractgenerally results from the bitter element of jumps, alpha acids (humulones) and beta acids (lupulones); and the antimicrobial activity of the amino acids from lactic acid bacteria is greater than that of alpha acids against them. However, theantimicrobial spectrum of the hop extract alone is not necessarily satisfactory.

Despite these above-mentioned issues, the current invention is to provide a procedure for stably producing pickles of fantastic quality while taking appropriate steps for surely curbing the growth of germs in generating pickles in asimplified fashion, and also to deliver an antimicrobial composition that’s useful as a food freshness-keeping broker free from all of the issues with conventional AIT and hop extract each other.

IP reviewed by Plant-Grow agriculture technology news