the cooking process – addition of acid greatly slows the cooking process. Cooked in very acidic
cooking water causes dried vegetables to remain crunchy and tough skinned despite a very long
Equally some tap water used for cooking dried vegetables disfavours the softening of the vegetable
because these tap water contains a significant quantity of calcium ions, which with their two positive
charges will link two pectin molecules, reinforcing their molecular cohesion, thus decreasing the ease
Other ways of preserving vegetables
Vegetables can also be preserved by pickling them. Pickling also gives vegetables a slightly different
taste. Placing cut cabbage (to make sauercrout) or other vegetables to be pickled in a brine solution
prevents the development of certain pathogenic bacterias. However, some bacteria, (Leuconostoc.
mesenteroides, and later Leuconostoc plantarum) are unaffected and consume the sugar in the
vegetable giving off an acid called lactic acid. It is this acid that gives its characteristic taste to pickled
vegetables and conserves as well as dishes like sauercrout.
Why are beans flatulents? Beans and peas contain the sugar raffinose, which is composed of a chain
of fructose, glucose and galactose molecules. Although glucose and fructose are readily decomposed
by digestive enzymes, galactose can not be degraded and it passes through to the large intestine still
undigested, where it is attacked by the stomach bacteria (mainly Escherichia coli) producing gases
(mainly hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane), which fill the stomach and cause flatulence.
How to eliminate the galactose?A good way to remove the galactose from vegetables is to allow them
to germinate. This operation mobilizes the enzyme galactosidase, as well as other enzymes which
destroys the galactose.
Soaking in warm water also helps to reduce the galactose – the heat from the water breaks down the
cell membranes of the beans, releasing the oligosaccharides so they can dissolve into the soaking