State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600955
The many varieties of pickled and fermented foods are
classified by types of ingredients and method of
Regular dill pickles and sauerkraut are fermented and
cured for about 3 weeks. Refrigerator dills are fermented
for about 1 week. During curing, colors and flavors change
and acidity increases. Fresh-pack or quick-process pickles
are not fermented; some are brined several hours or
overnight, then drained and covered with vinegar and
seasonings. Fruit pickles usually are prepared by heating
fruit in a seasoned syrup acidified with either lemon juice
or vinegar. Relishes are made from chopped fruits and
vegetables that are cooked with seasonings and vinegar.
Be sure to remove and discard a 1/16-inch slice from
the blossom end of fresh cucumbers. Blossoms may contain an
enzyme which causes excessive softening of pickles.
CAUTION: THE LEVEL OF ACIDITY IN A PICKLED PRODUCT IS
AS IMPORTANT TO ITS SAFETY AS IT IS TO TASTE
* Do not alter vinegar, food or water proportions in
a recipe or use a vinegar with unknown acidity.
* Use only recipes with tested proportions of
* There must be a minimum, uniform level of acid
throughout the mixed product to prevent the growth
of botulinum bacteria.