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Can anyone tell me if this Kroger band Sauerkraut is "alive"? (link w/ product description included)

Answered on December 28, 2015
Created March 06, 2014 at 12:59 AM

I found it in the refrigerated section at Kroger ($2.50). Package doesn't say whether it was pasteurized or not. Ingredients are: "Cabbage, Water, Salt, Sodium Benzoate as a Preservative, and Sodium Bisulfitefor Color Retention."

http://www.shopwell.com/kroger-sauerkraut-shredded/canned-vegetables/p/1111097759

I've seen recommendations for Bubbie's Brand on these threads, and if this Kroger stuff is not a source of good bacteria then I'll try that, but Kroger is cheap and convenient for me.

So, can anyone say if the Kroger stuff has good bacteria?

Medium avatar

(238)

on March 06, 2014
at 05:37 AM

Moldy isn't good. If the cabbage is submerged from the start and you have the right salt balance you won't get mold. If it molds toss it out, your health isn't worth the price of a head of cabbage.

583b276d4154407e3370f876af42d046

on March 06, 2014
at 02:47 AM

Thank you for the helpful response, I plan on making my own in the near future!

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5 Answers

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3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on March 06, 2014
at 01:24 AM

I don't know for sure but I don't think so. This is why:

1. It doesn't say "fermented" or "live cultures" on the packaging

2. It contains preservatives: Sodium benzoate and sodium bisulfate. Living food is rotting food. That's the cycle of life. I think that these preservatives would probably kill the cultures.

Really, it is SO easy to make your own sauerkraut.

Ingredients are 1 head of ORGANIC cabbage, 1 1 1/2 TBSP of salt. That's it. And you need a 2 pint glass jar with a tight lid. Organic is crucial because pesticides kill the good microbes you need.

Wash your hands well. Shred the cabbage. Put it in a big bowl and sprinkle it with the salt. Now, for the next 1 or 2 minutes, squeeze the cabbage to break down the cellulose and release it's water. Cover the cabbage and put in a warm place for 8 hours. Squeeze and knead the cabbage again for another few minutes--it should be very wet.

Pack the cabbage and all the liquid you can fit into the jar and pack it as tightly as you can. If you have something to keep the cabbage submerged, that helps--I have small glass disks. But if you don't, no worries. Put the lid on the jar and put it in a warm place (in the summer this is easy, harder in the winter). Try the top of your fridge for example.

"Burp" the jar twice daily to release the gas that builds up. When the gas stops smelling like farts (sorry!) you can begin tasting it. This happens in 3 to 7 days, depending on how warm your kitchen is. When you like the taste, put it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation.

Sometimes the cabbage at the top of the jar gets moldy. Just scrape that off and get rid of the moldy stuff plus about 1 inch. The cabbage well submerged in the brine will be fine.

If you like making it you can invest in fancier equipment--an airlock top for your jar helps, glass jar weights to keep the cabbage submerged are nice, but nothing is required--our grandparents didn't have that stuff.

322a2783dfe4086591f323c6d2c086d6

on May 12, 2015
at 02:09 PM

"Wash your hands well."

UNLESS you've just been handling the soil while working in an organic garden. THEN I'd say DON'T wash your hands. ;-)

If you wonder why, Google "soil-based probiotics". hehe

Medium avatar

(238)

on March 06, 2014
at 05:37 AM

Moldy isn't good. If the cabbage is submerged from the start and you have the right salt balance you won't get mold. If it molds toss it out, your health isn't worth the price of a head of cabbage.

583b276d4154407e3370f876af42d046

on March 06, 2014
at 02:47 AM

Thank you for the helpful response, I plan on making my own in the near future!

0
322a2783dfe4086591f323c6d2c086d6

on December 28, 2015
at 03:22 PM

Not only is it likely that all the good bacteria in the can (or jar or refrigerator bag) is dead but to eat significant quantities of preservatives on a daily basis appears to be what can kill off your gut microbiome that is already in existance.

I can't point you to studies, sorry, but it certainly makes sense to me that a wall of preservatives from fast food, eaten daily can eventually sweep through and kill it all if there isn't regular good bacteria with accompanying prebiotics to reseed it.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on March 06, 2014
at 05:38 AM

Bubbie's Brand is ok, but they do heat treat it and that does kill off a percentage of live bacteria. They claim it isn't that much but the lid would start bulging if it was truly alive so I'm unconvinced.

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56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on March 06, 2014
at 02:29 AM

bingo. other things that will necessarily mean something is dead are sulfites and potassium sorbate. I once killed a well developed vinegar mother by pouring half a glass of store wine in its container. 95% of the wine in there was good, but that was enough.

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543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 06, 2014
at 01:24 AM

very unlikely that that product is 'live'. if it was, it would clearly advertise the fact, as it is a selling point.

also i would avoid Sodium Benzoate and Sodium Bisulfite (Sodium Bisulphite).

I generally refer to this list, complete-lists-of-additives, to decide whether to avoid suspect ingredients.

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