Many have replaced the classic varieties of cucumbers with hybrid burpless cucumbers. But are these better than the conventional species? Let’s find out.
What Are Burpless Cucumbers?
They have a very suggestive name, “burpless cucumbers.” Thus, you can already tell what is supposed to be the main benefit of these types of cucumbers.
Burpless cucumbers are often advertised as hybrid species of cucumbers that supposedly don’t make you burp after eating them. Many also believe that these cucumber species don’t produce bloating and have less undesirable effects on people with sensitive stomachs.
Additionally, most seed sellers also claim that these varieties of cucumbers also do not get bitter.
You can usually recognize these cucumbers by their elongated shape and waxy skin of a dark green color.
Do Cucumbers Make You Burp?
Burping is a natural process through which your body releases the excess air from your upper digestive tract. 
While many of us may have never had gastrointestinal problems after eating cucumbers, there are also many that avoid eating these vegetables due to these associated effects. Burping is one of them.
So yes, cucumbers’ consumption can really produce excessive burping to some persons.
Why Cucumbers Make You Burp?
It is believed that the burping after eating cucumbers is due to a chemical compound called “cucurbitacin,” which these plants generate as a natural defense system against insects and herbivores. The high level of cucurbitacin is also responsible for the bitter taste of cucumbers.
This chemical compound and its derivatives are not only found in cucumbers, but also in plants such as pumpkins, cabbage, melons, broccoli, zucchini, squashes, and many others.
Cucurbitacin is toxic when ingested in high quantities and is usually found in much more substantial doses in these plants’ wild species. The domestic varieties that we consume usually contain small amounts of this toxin in their fruits. 
In cucumbers, as mentioned above, a sign of the presence of a higher level of cucurbitacin is bitterness. Therefore, it is not recommended to eat cucumbers with a strong bitter taste. The levels of this toxin can be amplified by stress factors such as uneven watering or temperature fluctuations. A low soil pH level can also contribute to the occurrence of bitterness in cucumbers. 
Cucumbers also tend to become bitter when they are not harvested on time, and their skins become yellowish.
Are Burpless Cucumbers Really Burpless?
Many ask themselves whether burpless cucumbers can really reduce or eliminate the burping sensation entirely or whether this is just a marketing angle used by the companies to sell more of their products.
A study posted on the American Society for Horticultural Science by Todd C. Wehner and titled “What are burpless cucumbers?” tried to confirm or disprove the following three statements related to burpless cucumbers:
- Burpless cucumbers contain less of a burp-causing compound.
- They are genetically bitterfree.
- Or whether “burpless” is just a marketing term for the oriental trellis cucumbers sold in the U.S.
Even though it was not a bitter-free type, the variety sold and labeled as “burpless” (Tasty Bright) was described as significantly less burpy than the normal-bitter and bitter-free cultivars by the burping-susceptible participants.
This research also indicates that there may not be a direct connection between the existence of cucurbitacin in cucumbers and belching. However, more studies are needed in this field before we can draw an accurate conclusion.
Do Burpless Cucumbers Have Seeds?
Most cucumber species contain a large number of seeds that grow once with the fruit. Hence, if you don’t harvest them in time, the fruit’s core will become basically a seed mass.
From this point of view, the burpless cucumbers have a slight advantage over other cucumber varieties. Although they produce seeds, these are fewer and smaller than the ones of common species. Still, it would be best if you always harvested these cucumbers before they get too large.
When To Pick Burpless Cucumbers?
There are several varieties of cucumbers labeled and sold as “burpless.” These can vary in sizes and can have different harvesting times.
Cucumbers’ growing process can also be greatly influenced by factors like temperature, fertilization, light, etc. So, it is nearly impossible to establish a general harvesting timeframe that suits all the species. However, the time until most species of burpless cucumbers are ready for harvest is similar to conventional varieties.
The first fruits of burpless cucumbers are usually ready to pick up in roughly 50 to 70 days after planting. After you start harvesting them, the next yield should be ready again in one or two days.
To determine the best harvesting time, you must also know the cultivated species’ maximum fruit size. If you pick them too early, you will not make the most out of your yield. On the other hand, if you collect them too late, you will end up with fruits with undesirable characteristics and possibly inedible.
When cucumbers look very fat, or their skins’ color starts to become yellow, those are signs that the fruits are already overripe.
It is always best to know the traits of the variety of cucumbers you are cultivating to determine the fruits’ best harvesting time.
Even if it is unfortunate to miss your cucumbers’ gather time, there’s no need to throw them in your trash bin and waste them completely. Whenever I find a cucumber that’s past its picking time, I cut it in tiny bits and put it in my compost pile so a part of the nutrients will return to my garden.
Are Burpless Cucumbers Good For Pickling?
If you are looking for a species of cucumber to pickle, then burpless varieties are not the most suitable.
Although they are very good when sliced or used in salads, when pickled, this type of cucumber does not stay crispy and becomes soft during the fermentation process. This is caused by a particular enzyme that is found in burpless species. 
Another reason why burpless cucumbers are not the best for pickles is that their skin becomes tough. Also, most of these types of cucumbers grow quite large and will have to be sliced to fit in jars.
Benefits Of Burpless Cucumbers
So, the main benefits of burpless cucumbers are their low or no cucurbitacin content, and supposedly that they are easier for digestion and don’t produce burping sensation to people with sensitive stomachs. They also don’t tend to get bitter as often as other species and have fewer and tiny seeds.
These sorts of cucumbers also grow pretty large, so there are chances to produce a fairly rich harvest if you choose to grow this type of cucumber.
Additionally, they also have thinner than others’ species. Hence, you can consume them even without the need to peel them.
In my opinion, burpless cucumbers have both pros and cons compared to the traditional types of cucumbers. I hope I managed to mention as many of them in this article.
Now that you know more about these hybrid cucumbers, it should be easier to decide if this type is best for your necessities or whether you should stick to the conventional species.