How to keep pickles crisp
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One traditional method is to use pickling lime (calcium hydroxide) but the process is laborious and dangerous if you don't get it right.
Ball, the canning jar people, makes a product called Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride) which is safe and easy to use.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
You can also use alum, which is typically found near the spices/salt, etc. in ordinary supermarkets. I was wary of using it, but last year made some bread and butter pickles, using the recipe on MrsWheelbarrow's site, and they turned out great -- nice and crisp! Love that crunch of crisp pickles on a sandwich!! ;o)
About firming agents:
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