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What causes pickles to shrivel?

Shriveling usually results from using too strong a sugar or vinegar solution at the start of the pickling process. To avoid problems with shriveled sweet pickles, use small cucumbers (1 to 2 inches in length) or cucumber slices. Shriveling of fresh pack dill pickles or other whole cucumber pickles may result from using too strong a salt solution at the start of the pickling process.


Other possible causes of shriveling include:


  • Using cucumber varieties not suited to pickling.
  • Holding cucumbers too long before pickling.
  • Using cucumbers from diseased or poorly nourished plants.
  • Overcooking or over-processing.
  • Unusually wet or dry growing season.


Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia







Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009



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