Israel: Benefits of modified packing and storage for cucumbers

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Cucumbers belong to the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) and although in culinary terms they are considered a vegetable, botanically speaking, they are a seed bearing fruit. Although cucumbers have very few calories (approx. 15 in 100g) they certainly don’t lack important nutrients providing a variety of health supportive phytonutrients including flavonoids, triterpenes and lignans (1). They are also an excellent source of molybdenum, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin B5.
Commercial production of cucumbers is usually divided into two types. « Slicing cucumbers » are produced for fresh consumption whereas « Pickling cucumbers » are produced for eventual processing into pickles. Slicing cucumbers are usually larger and have thicker skins, while pickling cucumbers are usually smaller and have thinner skins. Depending on cultivar and temperature, the time from flowering to harvest may be 55 to 60 days. Generally, fruit is harvested at a slightly immature stage, near full size but before seeds fully enlarge and harden. At proper harvest maturity, a jellylike material has begun to form in the seed cavity.

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