Many of us in the winter want to enjoy a pickled cucumber and, when they come to the store, they buy a jar they like. And practically no one realizes that very often, under the guise of products of Russian manufacturers, they buy cucumbers grown in India. As shown by selective studies of the authoritative organization “Russian Quality System”: the lion’s share of cucumbers sold in our country is grown in India and other Asian countries. Often, trading and manufacturing companies simply repackage products.
Of course, one should not belittle the dignity of cucumbers brought from India (they are cheaper and look more attractive). Nevertheless, Roskachestvo recommends that consumers try to buy products from Russian manufacturers. And there are a number of good reasons for this.
The domestic manufacturer is in a very difficult situation
To date, cucumbers from Asia (India, Vietnam) occupy a fairly large segment in the Russian market, approximately 85 percent of the products are vegetables grown in these countries. And practically this indicator has not changed for many years. It is not affected by any negative changes in the country’s economy, nor fluctuations in the dollar. It should be noted that almost all pickled and pickled cucumbers in India are exported, and a negligible amount of products remains on the domestic market. The main importer of Indian cucumbers is Russia, followed by Western European states, Canada and the United States.
Thanks to this alignment of affairs, domestic producers are forced to fight “for a place in the sun” at least in the vastness of their country.
The size of a cucumber depends on the cheapness of labor
The main parameter by which it is possible to determine that cucumbers are grown in India is their size. So domestic agricultural enterprises practically do not collect cucumbers less than six centimeters in size. This is due to the complexity of the technological process, which mainly consists of manual labor. And at the same time, farmers from India, using cheap labor (often children are used in such work), pick cucumbers of almost the smallest sizes (from one to six centimeters). By the way, such pickled products are most popular. Taking into account the fact that the country’s climate allows harvesting four times a year, and the domestic market practically does not consume this product, the export of cucumbers is one of the leading directions of Indian agriculture.
The main emphasis of Indian manufacturers is on a quantitative indicator
In the production process of pickling cucumbers, Indian farmers, unlike Western countries, practically do not use high-tech methods of work, which involve the use of automatic lines. Basically, the technology is as follows: the harvested crop is delivered to the factory, where it is first of all sorted and sized (manually). A small part of the highest quality products is immediately put into jars and sent for pickling (this is, so to speak, elite products that come to Russia in small quantities). The remaining cucumbers are stacked in large barrels and poured with marinade saturated with vinegar. Waxes in these barrels are brought to the required condition in settling tanks, and after about two weeks the containers with cucumbers are redirected to storage places. After that, the finished products are sent to Russia and other countries for packaging and further sale.
To get to the Russian market, cucumbers travel thousands of kilometers.
In order for barrels with pickled cucumbers to get to Russia, it is necessary to transport them over a fairly long distance, and it takes a lot of time (about a month). The safety of cucumbers throughout the journey largely depends on the concentration of acetic acid. The higher it is, the more likely it is to bring the goods safe and sound. And it is worth noting that a large concentration of acetic acid, as in other matters and any other, adversely affects human health.
To give an attractive appearance, cucumbers are chemically processed.
It goes without saying that cucumbers that are in a concentrated marinade are not only impossible to eat, but it can be dangerous to health. Therefore, in order to reduce the concentration of acetic acid to acceptable limits, Russian companies soak them with water for several days. At the same time, along with acetic acid, the last remnants of useful substances are washed out. That is, cucumbers processed in this way do not have any nutritional value. In addition, the field of such procedures, the cucumber loses its presentation. It becomes soft and whitish in appearance. Naturally, such products are essentially unrealistic to implement. To give pickled cucumbers an attractive appearance, a number of methods associated with the use of chemicals are used. To give a seductive appearance and the appearance of a characteristic crunch, dyes (often chemical) and calcium chloride are added to cucumbers. Thanks to this, cucumbers become much more beautiful and have crispy properties, but at the same time they can no longer be called a natural product. At the final stage, the product is laid out in jars, filled with a marinade of the appropriate concentration and sent to trade organizations.
Often, Indian cucumbers are passed off as domestic products.
Honest producers will definitely note on the label of a jar of cucumbers that the products are grown in the fields of India, and packaged in Russia. But most often it happens that repackers forget or do not want to label their products in this way, but put the stamp “grown in Russia”. There are two significant reasons for committing such frauds: firstly, the fact that the products are grown at domestic agricultural enterprises significantly increases the level of sales, and secondly, it is almost impossible to determine fraud, even in laboratory conditions. It is possible to determine that the cucumber came to us from India by some visual signs. The first indicator is the size of the green. As mentioned above, our farmers do not collect cucumbers less than six centimeters in size, and the size of Indian products ranges from one to four centimeters. In addition, the date of pickling cucumbers cannot be the winter months, since the harvest in our country falls only on the summer-autumn period.
Russian products surpass Indian counterparts in taste
The production process of domestic pickled cucumbers is quite short and does not require concentrated marinades and the addition of chemicals. That is why the taste qualities of cucumbers produced in Russia are much better than those of Indian “restored” counterparts.
In fact, you can choose really healthy and tasty products only based on the research of Roskachestvo. To do this, you should pay attention to the “Quality Mark”, which is placed on the labels of products that meet all regulatory requirements.