Product Intelligence

Cucumber

Similar Names
Cucumis sativus
Top Producer
Maldives
0397 Cucumbers and gherkins
Top Exporter
Spain
070700 Cucumbers and gherkins, fresh or chilled
Top Importer
United States
070700 Cucumbers and gherkins, fresh or chilled
Wholesale Prices
help
$ 0.86 per kg
+6.7%
Jul, 2019
Mar 11
Jul 22
Product Intelligence of Cucumber

Processing Types of Cucumber

What are the different types of processed Cucumber?
General Information

-Below are various ways used for processing fresh cucumber :

-Harvesting. cucumber harvest is done manually and with scissors carefully cutting the stem, approximately the harvest is done 40 - 55 days after sowing before the seeds harden & harvest is done when the cucumber is not yet fully ripe but already very close to its end point.

-Transporting to packinghouse. This is done by a small & large truck while the fresh cucumbers are in the basket or the boxes.

-Washing. Once the cucumber is in the packing area, it is washed - in many packages it is washed with cold water - and then disinfected, which is done with chlorine or peracetic acid solutions.

-Waxing. Then the fresh cucumber goes through the area of application of coverage or waxing, which is the conservation method. Waxing is done by different varieties such as beeswaxes, organic oils, wood resins, sucrose esters, waxes based on whey proteins, polysaccharides.

-Selection. then fresh cucumber is classified and the good product is separated, the bad and the best quality depending on a few factors such as The size, The color, Skin firm and well hydrated, Cool, No stretch marks, Without points or yellow parts, No injuries, no blows.

-Packaging. packages cover a variety of cucumbers with a transparent rubber in order to protect them and later it is packed into the in baskets, cardboard, wooden boxes but usually, corrugated cardboard boxes are used.

-Transportation.  The container should be selected taking care that the fresh cucumber has the least movement inside the container.

-The cucumber at the moment of being transported to the market or exported to external markets must travel in boxes or containers with temperatures of 10 ° C.

-The fresh cucumber needs to be stored in the cooling system, in fact, it can not be marketed without a pre-cooled, which means to subject it to 8 ° C for a lapse of 3 hours. The cucumber can be stored for a period of 15 to 20 days after harvest and the most benevolent storage temperature is between 10 ° C to 12 ° C. If the cucumber is stored for 2 weeks at a temperature of 5 ° C it can present irreversible damage



-Below are various ways used for processing cucumber(frozen):

-Cucumber Pickling process. This is a fermentation process whereby cucumbers are transferred to large, air tight, fiber-glass or stainless steel tanks. Some of these containers can hold over 40,000 lb (18,160 kg) of cucumbers. The tanks are filled with a brine solution, which is made up of water and 10% salt.

-The manufacturer can take advantage of a naturally-occurring bacteria that is present on the cucumbers or innoculate with a specifically desired bacteria. In either case, the bacteria are halophyllic, or salt tolerant.

-During a storage period of about five weeks, the fermentation bacteria breakdown the sugars present in the vegetable and produce carbon dioxide. To prevent adverse effects from the carbon dioxide, the tanks are periodically degassed. Pickles made in this way have a shelf life of many months.

-After the pickles have adequately fermented, the salt solution is drained. The pickles are then immersed in water to remove all of the salt they have acquired during the cure. From this point, the pickles are moved along to the conveyor to the slicing machine which cuts the pickles to the correct size depending on the type of product desired. They can be cut into slices, chips, or can even be diced. Attempts are made to maintain as clean an environment as possible for the pickles to avoid any contamination by microbes could result in an undesirable product.

-The other method is direct pasteurization. In this method, the cucumbers are bottled and then exposed to very high temperatures for a set amount of time. this creates the effect of killing all of the natural bacteria that may is present. These sterilized cucumbers can then be further processed into pickles. This method of production results in pickles that have a shelf life of only a few months.

-The last method is refrigeration and acidification. The pickles depend on the cold temperature and vinegar solution to prevent spoilage. While they are much faster to manufacture, they have a much shorter shelf life.

-After being cut, the pickles are typically placed in glass jars although cans, plastic bottles, and pouches have also been used. The packing machines are designed to deliver the correct amount of vegetable to each jar.

-The jars are moved along to the liquid filling machine, which fills them with the liquor. The pickle liquor consists of vinegar, salt, and other materials mentioned previously. This liquor is premixed in a large container prior to filling. To ensure an adequate distribution of spices, these are sometimes filled into the jars before the liquor. From the filling machine, the jars are capped and moved along for pasteurization.

-Fresh-market cucumbers and European types they are hand harvested and placed in plastic bins to be transported by trucks to the packing-house. Once the cucumbers have reached the packing house they are washed in Fresh Pack Cucumber Line machine which then sorts them out before delivering cucumber at personnel lining up for grading them manually as they move over for packaging.

-Since the fresh market cucumbers are prone to extreme dryness, they are waxed prior to being packed again to help with reducing water loss and skin injury. As for greenhouse cucumbers, most are shrink-wrapped with polyethylene films.

Explore Other Definitive Guides to Cucumber

Everything you need to know about the basics, production, export, and import of Cucumber.
Product Description
General Information

-Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant.  It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. Cucumbers have different colors, for example, lemon cucumbers are yellow and round, resembling a lemon more than the common cucumber. Armenian cucumbers have a light green or yellow-green hue also there is  Indian yellow cucumber although the most traded cucumbers are dark green.

-The fruit of typical cultivars of cucumber is roughly cylindrical, but elongated with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. Cucumbers are firmness and crispness, also they are sweet except when they are a tad bitter & also depending on variety, cucumbers may have a mild melon aroma and flavor

-There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, Gherkin and Burpless(seedless). Within these varieties, several cultivars(hybrids) have been created. Most commercial cucumbers are hybrids from slicing & pickling varieties produced all over the world. 

-The cucumber is originally from South Asia  & has been cultivated in India for more than 3000 years & from there it spread to Greece, China, England & to the Americas but now grows on most continents. Many different types of cucumber are traded on the global market.

-Cucumber production globally is in 83,753,861 metric tonnes from 2.2 million hectares. the main producing countries are as follows: China-64,824,643 metric tons, Iran-1,981,130 metric tons, Russia-1,940,010 metric tons,Turkey-1,827,782 metric tons,United States-1,012,378 metric tons,Mexico-956,005 metric tons, Ukraine-896,280 metric tons,Uzbekistan-813,591 metric tons,Spain-634,824 metric tons,Japan-559,500 metric tons, Poland-543,726metric tons.

-There are two methods of harvesting cucumbers: Handpicked & Machine harvesting. 

-Handpicking is done with a knife or a pair of shears whereas machine harvesting is done by CH model cucumber harvester, harvesting up to 60 tons per hour.

-Harvest regular slicing cucumbers when they about 6 to 8 inches long (slicing varieties).

-Harvest dills(seedless) at 4 to 6 inches long and pickles at 2 inches long for pickles.

-The large burpless cucumbers can be up to 10 inches long and some types are even larger.

-Cucumbers are best picked before their seeds become hard and are eaten when immature.  A cucumber is of the highest quality when it is uniformly green, firm, and crisp.

-Any cucumbers left on the vine too long will also get tough skins, turns yellow and lower plant productivity.

-Cucumbers are mostly consumed in the culinary industry due to a lot of health benefits associated with the vegetable such as: 

-High nutrients. Have low calories but rich in vitamins, minerals & high water content.

-Antioxidants. This helps to reduce the risks of chronic illness.

-Promotes hydration because 96% of cucumber content is water.  

-Helps in weight loss. A 300 g cucumber contains only 45 calories & the high water content.

-Promotes body regulator. Since cucumber contains high water content hence promote hydration. Staying hydrated can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity. 


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