Not just any cabbage can make a high quality sauerkraut.
So The Fremont Co., the nation's second largest processer of sauerkraut, sought help from Ohio State University to find the best cabbage varieties that could be grown locally, according to a news release.
The trials, conducted at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Fremont, examined which varieties performed best in terms of yield and quality.
Researchers, led by Extension specialist Mark Koenig, compared 20 varieties, from early- to late-maturing types.
Among the criteria they used in the evaluations were yield, head quality, maturity rates, color for kraut, and impact of planting and harvesting time on quality.
Similar trials are conducted in Wisconsin and New York.
But Bruce Hanzel, plant manager at The Fremont Co., says regional microclimates and soil variations make those trials of little value.
In addition, scientists at the university's Food Industries Center in Columbus evaluated varieties for food-processing criteria.