11 Aug Cabbage stalks
In The Netherlands 100,000 tonnes of white cabbage are grown annually of which the largest part is processed into sauerkraut. After shredding, 15,000 tons remain as stalks and are fed to cattle.
Preservation of nutritional value
Both the shredded parts as well as the stalks are similar in nutritional value. The stalks are hard and fibrous due to the presence of lignocellulose in the cell wall. Therefore these stalks are unsuitable for the lactic acid fermentation process which is the core of the sauerkraut production.
In order to be able to use the stalks in regular sauerkraut production, KFS has suggested to treat these with cell wall modifying enzymes. Background knowledge and expertise is available through the co-operation between KFS and Prof Henk Schols, Chair of Food Chemistry at Wageningen University.
The first tests were executed by the students of HAS Den Bosch, Netherlands as a part of their graduate research programme, and the results were most encouraging . The next step is the design of a process as well as a cost evaluation together with FoodTechBrainport, Helmond, Netherlands and a Dutch sauerkraut producer. This will largely determine the feasibility of this project in day-to-day sauerkraut production.