02.06.2021 - Food processing

LLU explores innovative uses for sauerkraut juice

The production and processing of sauerkraut generates almost 30% sauerkraut juice, which is considered a waste product or by-product. Keeping in mind sustainable and waste-free production, the Faculty of Food Technology at the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU) is working on innovative solutions for using this high-quality by-product.

One of those is concentrated sauerkraut juice. Using a rotary vacuum evaporator, a unique product with umami taste characteristics, sweet, sour, and salty at the same time, has been created. In cooperation with AS Smiltenes piens, six tonnes of sauerkraut juice were evaporated to produce a juice concentrate.  The concentrate is being tested at the Faculty of Food Technology, as well as in bakery, meat, and cosmetics companies to explore its potential for new product development. Concentrated sauerkraut juice contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. The salt content of the concentrate is 6,3%, which allows it to be used as a salt substitute in food production. Evaporated sauerkraut juice is highly valued in meat processing as a raising agent and seasoning additive.

Dehydrated sauerkraut juice or sauerkraut juice powder is also of interest to researchers. Two varieties of sauerkraut juice powder have been obtained and two different drying technologies have been analyzed. Analyses and experiments on the dehydrate obtained continue. The extraction of sauerkraut juice dehydrates, shelf-life analysis, and packaging material studies, as well as experiments for use in foodstuffs and in the development of a seasoning mix, are also ongoing.

The research at the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies is being carried out within the project “Production and processing of organic and conventional cabbage, research and development of innovative waste-free technologies for the production of sauerkraut juice powder and its application in the creation of new products with high added value” with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Support Service.

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