Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600601


     Because   both  acid  and  heat  are   destructive   to
chlorophyll,  a  bright green color is not to be expected in
pickles.   During pickling, the magnesium atom in the center
of  the  chlorophyll molecule is replaced  by  two  hydrogen
atoms    to form pheophytin,  an olive green pigment.  While
the olive green color of pickles is not as attractive as the
natural  green color,  it is  accepted as characteristic  of

     If   copper  replaces  magnesium  in  the   chlorophyll
molecule,   the  pigment  takes  on  a  vivid  green  color.
Formerly  copper  kettles were used for cooking  pickles  in
order to impart a bright green color,  but  this practice is
not recommended.  Some old-fashioned pickle recipes call for
using  a  "blue  stone"--namely copper sulfate-- to give the
pickles a bright green  color.    We  do not  recommend this
practice  because copper  can  be  toxic if present in large
enough quantities.                                          

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