MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: How does processing food affect the food's production of gas?

Date: Wed Oct 18 16:18:53 2000
Posted By: Charlene Wolf-Hall, Faculty, Food Science
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 971271869.Ch

Hi Teddie,

Interesting theory.  However, I think you may find the results are the 
reverse of what you expect for the following reasons:

1. Most fresh plant tissue is still respiring, so the fresh vegetables may 
give off gases as part of this process. As the vegetables are further 
processed, the more the tissue is damaged and the more the repiration comes 
to an end.

2. Vegetables have a fairly high natural population of microorganisms on 
them.  This is one reason that vegetables are processed to give them a 
longer shelf life.  The respiration and growth of these microbes will 
produce gas as well.  Since the numbers of microbes decrease as a result of 
processing, guess whitch sample would have the most gas from microbial 

 I am not sure what the point of the vinegar is.  It will cause the pH to 
decrease which can inhibit several types of microorganisms that may be 
present on the vegetables.  I can't think of anything off hand that would 
react with the acid in vinegar to give off gas.  It is not likely they use 
baking soda in vegetable processing.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions.  I would be curious to 
know the results.

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