How are Caldwell's cultured vegetables made?
Fresh organic vegetables are cut up and mixed with spices, salt, spring water, and Caldwell's starter culture. They are then fermented in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature until the desired acidity (pH) is achieved, at which stage they are moved to a cooler room for a two-month curing period. They are then vacuum-packed for maximum freshness, and the juices are bottled for sale.
Can I make my own cultured vegetables?
Yes, certainly. Spontaneous fermentation, i.e. fermentation with only those micro-organisms naturally present on the vegetables, is traditional but can produce variable results. In addition, when vegetables are allowed to ferment with only naturally-occurring micro-organisms, there will be wide fluctuations in taste and/or conservation, since there is no way to tell which bacteria or yeast will prevail over the others. A controlled fermentation process using an appropriate starter culture is therefore recommended. Inoculating the vegetables with Caldwell's starter culture makes it possible to decrease the pH to a safe level in less than 24 hours, thereby ensuring the rapid destruction of harmful micro-organisms. This is not possible with spontaneous fermentation.
How are your raw cultured juices produced?
The juices are collected from the fermentation containers when the cultured vegetables are packaged. They are unpasteurized and undiluted.
Are the jars/bottles sterilized before the products are put in them?
The fermented vegetables are packaged in vacuum pouches, which are food grade and BPA free. These cannot be sterilized before use, but the acidity of the fermented vegetables (around pH 3.4) and the vacuum packing renders them resistant to pathogenic bacteria.
Do you use a "culture starter"?
Yes, we use Caldwell’s starter culture, which is specifically designed for fermenting vegetables.
Is a probiotic used in the culturing of your products?
The specific strains that we use are not labelled as 'probiotic', but the resulting fermented vegetables are high in friendly bacteria and live enzymes.
I received my order yesterday. I opened the box and there was no “dry ice”. Where is it? Should I be concerned? All that I found were two plastic pouches, is this the dry ice? It wasn’t cold, does that mean the gases evaporated into the products??? Is this safe??
The dry ice is designed to keep the products cool during shipping and to dissipate en route. This explains why the two plastic pouches were empty when your order arrived. That's fine, it's supposed to work that way. The material is not harmful, it's especially designed and certified as safe for use with food products.