your questions. answered.
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Why Ferment Peppers?
Peppers can be fermented similar to Sauerkraut, Kimchi, or full-sour Pickles using a process called Lactofermentation. Lactofermentation uses salt and Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) to acidify and preserve produce. The process of fermenting peppers
enhances flavor, increases nutritional value, requires low energy input, and is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. LAB are salt tolerant microorganisms which feed on the sugars and amino acids in peppers and create organic acids, enzymes, short chain fatty acids, and vitamins. These bacteria and their products are beneficial to humans because they aid in digestion,
enhance immunity, and support neurological function.
Why refrigerate? Do I have to refrigerate the flakes?
This sauce has never been pasteurized and has been cultured with probiotic strains of LAB. LAB remain live and active in higher concentrations for longer periods of time when refrigerated. High concentrations of LAB and high acidity prevent pathogenic bacteria from living in the product, but surface growth and CO2 may form if left at room temperature for too long. If stored properly, fermented pepper sauce and mash can last six months or more with no adverse effects.
If your bottle of sauce has been left out for a short duration, put it back in the fridge before consumption.
Picaflor Pepper Flakes are raw and slowly dehydrated, but do not require refrigeration. They are shelf stable and make a great addition to your pantry and spice drawer.
I ordered online and my bottles arrived warm. Is that OK?
The sauce is fine if it arrived warm. Place it in a cold fridge immediately and once cold, open and enjoy spicy good vibes. Keep the sauce refrigerated after use. Our Pepper Flakes are shelf-stable. If you have further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why no vinegar or sugar?
We don’t add vinegar, we make vinegar. During fermentation, bacteria produce lactic acid which does the same function as vinegar (acetic acid). Lactic acid acidifies the peppers to a level which no pathogenic bacteria can survive (pH<4.0). We don’t add sugar because high refined sugar intake is directly related to many modern health problems. Instead, we add a touch of real fruit which brings antioxidants and fiber along with their sweet flavor.
Why do you add starter cultures instead of wild fermentation?
Starter cultures are added in the form of mature fermented pepper mash from the previous batch supplemented with two probiotic, acid loving, homolactic strains: Lactobacillus plantarum LM and L. rhamnosus LB3. This method of adding known, quality cultures ensures product consistency and maximum human benefit. Wild fermentation—a traditional method which relies on uncharacterized microorganisms present in the vegetables to complete fermentation—is an adequate home scale method for vegetable preservation where quality is a matter of essentialism and consistency is less important. Fermentation is a largely safe processes to experiment with at home, with or without starter cultures, but stay away from molds, take sanitation seriously, taste cautiously, and don’t eat what doesn’t taste good.