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Canning -- Pickled and Fermented Foods

Can I make a good batch of pickles without salt?

Rating: 100

The quality of homemade salt-free sour or quick pack dill pickles is not very good. Suggest that if someone is on a sodium-restricted diet that they purchase commercial salt-free pickles or make a sweet pickle (deleting the salt). Fresh pack pickles in So Easy to Preserve and the Ball Blue Book are acidic enough that the salt may be eliminated or reduced. However, the resulting product is not very good. The use of salt substitutes produces a bitter flavor. CAUTION: Do not alter the quantity of salt in fermented vegetables or in making sauerkraut. Growth of undesirable microorganisms may occur, resulting in a spoiled product.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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