When it comes to buying sauerkraut, there’s only one thing that really matters: pasteurised vs unpasteurised
When walking the aisles of your local supermarket, you might wonder why some sauerkrauts are stored in the refrigerated section, whereas some are kept in aisles at room temperature. Organic or not, there is one key difference that separates the two: pasteurised and unpasteurised. Or rather, alive vs dead.
You may not think of your sauerkraut as being “alive” – certainly not if your vegan or vegetarian – but the good bacteria that makes kraut and kimchi so good for your gut is technically living. It can make the fermentation process pretty exciting, one minute a bit of carrot is at the top of the jar, the next it’s moved completely!
However, this living bacteria means that a store-bought kraut needs to be packaged securely and then kept refrigerated – this can be seen as quite a hassle for manufacturers and supermarkets, even if it means ensuring the product remains a good-gut superfood for their customers.
Many brands choose instead to pasteurise their sauerkraut. This means that they use heat to kill the bacteria inside – this would be great, if sauerkraut wasn’t packed full of the best kind of bacteria! Once the kraut is heated above a certain temperature, it loses the majority of the good bacteria, and essentially becomes a stable product that doesn’t need refrigeration.
The easiest way to know if a store-bought sauerkraut is pasteurised or not, is to figure out whether it was refrigerated when you bought it. If it’s sitting in a room-temperature aisle then we’re sorry – that kraut is dead!
Luckily for you, if you’re reading this blog (which we assume you must be), we’re called Living Goodness for a reason. Our sauerkrauts are kept healthy and alive so that our hungry customers can reap the full benefits of living bacteria. Something else that might give you a good gut feeling, is that we ensure there are no added sugars, gluten, or dairy in our krauts and kimchi’s so you can enjoy all the goodies and none of the baddies.