Fermenting the new Pickling?

Fermenting the new Pickling?

Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kimchi or pickled cucumbers and onions– an old-school cooking method is coming back to life. Food preservation has been around for thousands of years across the world and is experiencing a new trend in the food market.


Wed, 06 Sep 2017


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Hot food trend

Pickling and fermenting, a common preservation practice, used to be a daily way of cooking a few decades ago, and was used in order to make food non-perishable for times of food shortages.

Nowadays, food is available all year round – industrialized and synthetic preserved food – canned, chilled or frozen – consumers don’t have to think about providing food for bad times anymore.

Yet, there has recently been a rising public interest in a sustainable and resource-efficient way of cooking, due to the increasingly conscious consumer, who demands healthier and more environmental friendly food products. Pickling and fermenting are simple and natural preservation methods, which follow the trend of a healthy, natural and novel-flavoured lifestyle.

There is a growing public demand for fermented and pickled food across Europe; a new wave of innovative flavours and preservation use, which food manufacturers can’t keep up with.

Pickling or fermenting?

Pickling and fermenting are both natural preservation methods, that inhibit or kill bacteria and microorganisms as well as extend the food’s lifespan up to one year.

Pickling is a process of preserving food by using an acidic solution, like vinegar, along with sugar, salt and spices. Pickled cucumbers, cauliflower or onions, but also pickled herring or eggs are popular products throughout the UK.

Fermentation is a process of preserving food using a natural reaction of Lactobacillus bacteria, which converts sugar into lactic acid. The fermentation process makes the product non-perishable, boosts the digestion as well as preserves essential nutrients and probiotics.

Almost every food can be fermented - from dairy products like yogurt and kefir, vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles to beverages such as kombucha and cider. The latest trends include a variety of Sauerkraut products from PaMa, Kvass (an eastern European drink made of Barley and rye malt), sour drinks like the Kentucky Kombucha (fermented and sweetened black and green tea), Up Mountain Switchel (a drink consisting of apple cider vinegar, ginger and sweeteners), as well as probiotic drinks like KEVITA.

The reason why fermented food is so popular is that the food contains a large amount of probiotics, which consist of the same bacteria that naturally lives in our intestine.  As such, these probiotics improve your digestive health and reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Also, this fascinating technique of preserving food is trendy in the culinary world, due to its unusual and rich flavours. 

Growth opportunities

Scotland is well known for its manufacture of condiments, which are sold world wide. Pickled Onions, shallots, sweet baby pickled onions or pickled beetroot are popular and traditionally produced products, using a blend of strong malty vinegar and spices to give a deep tangy distinctive flavour.

Unusual flavours and a growing demand for less sugary products and more sour, bitter and aromatic tastes is becoming trendy in the UK.  Scotland with its strong vegetable growing industry and an establishing processing base is in an excellent position to produce not just chutneys, but also kimichi.

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