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Pickle Encyclopedia

About Pickles:

Pickles are one of the important consumer products. Generally defined as fruits or vegetables preserved in vinegar or brine, usually with spices or sugar or both. Pickles have limited nutritional value and are often used as appetizers. The important pickles in India are mango, drumstick, brinzal,gongura, mirchi pickle, chicken pickle, mutton pickle, fish pickle and prawn pickle. Sweet pickles are made from various fruits or vegetables—e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, or plums—with sugar added.


Food historians tell us pickles originated in India, a fact that is easily believed since even today in modern day India, the rituals of pickle-making define an entire period of the year, annually, when entire households are given over to the task of Pickling. It is estimated that the first pickles were produced over 4,000 years ago using  native to India.  At the height of summer, when the sun beats down mercilessly, women in the rural areas get together, spending days cutting, preparing, and drying fruit and vegetables for pickling. Their children flit about, sneaking tempting bits of green mango to feast on and falling asleep from exhaustion and excitement under the same Mango tree whose fruit are being readied for the Pickle jars.

Raw Materials:
The raw materials used as pickling agents were cheap and easy to get. Salt and vinegar are the most basic ones.So the Main ingredients used are cucumber, acids, flavorings, colorants, preservatives, and stabilizers that make up the liquid, or liquor, in which the pickle is sold.Now, let us take a look at some of the basic pickles ingredients and the list of common spices used for the purpose:

  • Vinegar : rice vinegar, ascetic acid, black vinegar, apple cider vinegar
  • Herbs : ginger, onion, garlic, dill
  • Spices : mustard seed, chili powder, turmeric, star aniseed, cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil : olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil
  • Sea salt, table salt, iodine salt, pickling salt
  • Syrup, sugar, molasses
  • Alum-this gives pickles its crispiness

Manufacturing Process:
Fully matured fresh vegetables, fruits, are washed and cut into required sizes and add salt, mirch, oil and other ingredients in required quantity. The prepared fresh pickles to be cured for a week and packed indifferent sizes with labelling and dispatched for market. The same process is followed non-veg pickles. The durability of the non-veg pickles are very short.They Must be consumed within 3 months. This activity can be set up by self help groups as well as individual entrepreneurs.

The health benefits of the pickle are incredible:
Raw, lacto-fermented vegetables (pickles) have good bacteria that inhibit the growth of harmful microbes in the intestines.
They have a higher concentration of vitamin C.
They help you absorb iron better.
Research shows that vinegar can help with weigh loss.

The Future
Research focusing on improvements in pickle technology is being done by the various seed companies and universities. One of the primary areas of interest is the development of improved pickling cucumbers. Many university groups are using biotechnology and plant grafting techniques to produce cucumbers that are larger, more plentiful, and resistant to microbial and insect-born diseases. New fanring methods concentrating on obtaining a larger harvest with fewer plants are also being tested. In addition, pickle manufacturers are also coming up with new flavors of pickles by varying the composition of the liquor and using different fermentation organisms.

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