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Does Bubbies Pasteurize Their Products? Say It Ain’t So!

Affiliate Disclosure | in Everything Else | by | with 39 Comments


You’ve fallen in love with a great product, evangelized all your friends about its MUST BUY status, and then your trusty little company gets snapped up by a big corporation. We all know the rest of that story, and it ain’t no fairy tale. So when a reader first mentioned Bubbies might be “lightly pasteurizing” their products, I figured they’d gone the way of so many other brands.

Well, I’m happy to report that Bubbies is still legit. They are flash heating their sauerkraut, but in this case flashing is a good thing. Because otherwise, the jars might explode.

Here’s what Karon over at Bubbies had to say:

Our Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish, Pickled Green Tomatoes and Sauerkraut are all naturally fermented and cured in salt water brine using a lacto-fermentation process. These products contain live cultures and the enzymes that form from a natural fermentation.

The Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish and Pickled Green Tomatoes are 100% raw; the Sauerkraut in the jars has been flash heated but not pasteurized. This means that the sauerkraut is neither pasteurized nor raw.  Bubbies Sauerkraut is heated in a steam bath bottle wash after the product has been sealed in the jar, and this does not kill off all the cultures, but rather just some of them that are producing the bulk of the carbon dioxide gas at that stage of the fermentation.

The hottest of the jars reach 130-140 degrees – no higher; the result is an approximate 10% decrease in culture content vs. a raw sample; but a product that will not continue to give off gas once sealed in the jar.  Without the heating our Sauerkraut will continue to ferment in the refrigerator resulting in bulging lids, leaking jars and a big mess within the distribution to retailer to customer chain. (emphasis mine)

Nutrient dense, probiotic rich foods are a VITAL part of our diet (here’s why), but I don’t always have the time to make them by hand. I can live with a 10% decrease for the sake of convenience, how about you?

MORE Good News!

Sorry to go all infomercially on you, but they have Pickled Green Tomatoes, people! Whole Foods, you have been holding out on me!!!

On another note, have you ever wondered what kind of salt they use? Since I had Karon on the line I decided to ask, thinking surely they cut corners and use the cheap stuff. Nope!  They use something very similar to Real Salt, which contains the trace minerals we all need. So good for you!

No worries about fluoride, either, because they culture their foods with artesian well water. Three thumbs up!! Hmmm, I seem to have miscalculated there. Can I borrow one of yours?

Well, there you have it. Not exactly investigative reporting, but at least you Bubbies lovers can a little sleep easier tonight! And if you’ve never given them a try, pack some for a weekend picnic! Yummo!

What are YOUR favorite nutrient-dense snacks??


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39 Responses to Does Bubbies Pasteurize Their Products? Say It Ain’t So!

  1. Jessica Bennett Espinoza via FB says:

    WHEW!!!! When I saw the title of this post, I panicked a little!!!!!!! I LOOOOOOOOOOVE all of their products and am tickled about the pickled green tomatoes. Gonna have to track some of those down! Great post! Thank you!

  2. Jessica @ Delicious Obsessions says:

    Thank you for this article! I didn’t even know that they had gotten bought out. I am glad that they are still adhering to their quality standards. I love that I can get their products at my local health food store, because face it. I can’t always make my own and it’s worth the month to buy theirs! Can’t wait to give those tomatoes a try!!! Thanks for posting this article. Oh! And, yes! You can borrow both of my thumbs, so now we have four thumbs up! :)

    • Heather says:

      Four thumbs, yay! And although I didn’t exactly spell this out, they haven’t been bought out lately. The business has changed hands a few times, but only because it was a great product that needed someone with business sense to run the company. They’re still pretty small-time, though :)

  3. Angelica says:

    Awesome! Thanks for doing the investigating! I bought some Bubbies this week and searched all over the jar to see if there was any mention of the flash pasteurization. Oh, and the Sprouts here in Cedar Hill has the green tomatoes. I can bring some to you if you ever want to meet up with our FW playgroup. :)

  4. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    I panicked when I heard, too. Especially because I had JUST recommended Bubbies to a whole room of people during a class on toddler nutrition!! Oy vey!!

  5. Thia Hall via FB says:

    Oh, I used to eat their tomatoes years ago (as in decades!)…but haven’t been able to find them since. :( Those are amazing!! Love their dills & kraut, too! Those I can find. :)

  6. Heather says:

    Ohhhhh, so thankful!
    Thanks for doing the research, Heather. Your dedication is so very appreciated!

  7. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    @Thia – Ohh! Do you have suggestions on how to serve them? I’m a fried green tomato expert, but can’t say I’m sure what to do with pickled ones. Gotta try them, though!

  8. kristin @ petal and thorn says:

    my hubby is a sauerkraut fiend! i thought he was the only one. our fav nutritious snacks are kefir with wild blueberries, raw trailmix, hard boiled eggs, and kippered herring. he’s on the paleo diet and has introduced me to all sorts of bizarre snacks.

    • Heather says:

      I LOVE kefir with berries. We add sprouted nuts, too, which I’m not sure is paleo-approved. :) Do you make the herring? And if so, how?

  9. Thia Hall via FB says:

    Oh, I always ate them right out of the jar; they’re that good!

  10. Megan says:

    Phew! I had been hearing all this great stuff about Bubbies and was searching for them at my store but haven’t gotten them yet. Next time I’m at the healthfood store or Whole Foods I will be looking out for them! I need some more fermentation in my life! Glad to hear they haven’t gone to the dark side.

  11. Margo says:

    I just have to say…I love the name BUBBIES!!! Will be trying this soon!

  12. Esther says:

    Thanks for the clarification! We are addicted to Bubbies over here and love the savings we’ve gotten ordering through Azure Standard since January. Green tomatoes, pickles, and even their horseradish is beyond delish!!

  13. jada says:

    Whew! I saw the article and was so scared to read it lol! So glad it’s good news! I love their products!

  14. Jenn says:

    their dill relish is SO good! I’ll have to try their other items. We buy through a co-op using

  15. rawkinmom says:

    Thanks for clearing that up!!! We love Bubbies pickles!!! Never tried the other products though!!!

  16. Sunny Espanet says:

    Next time you chat with Karon, could you please ask her WHY her end product tastes so much better than mine? I’m not hatin’ on homemade kraut, but mine never achieves the yumminess that hers does, even when I use Bubbies as a culture.

    • Heather says:

      LOL!I know they’re expensive, but I think my Harsch crock creates a much tastier end product than the counter method. Haven’t tried those airlock thingy’s, but I’ve heard they work, too. :)

      • Sunny Espanet says:

        I haven’t heard of a Harsch crock. Will look into that. Thanks! I just started making water-kefir and it is so refreshing for the summertime!

  17. 20 Healthy “Grab And Go” Snacks Your Kids Will LOVE « The Mommypotamus says:

    […] I wrote about here, Bubbies pickles are truly fermented with artisanal well water (no fluoride) and mineral rich […]

    • Natalie says:

      Thank you for your homework! I’ve had a hard time finding fermented foods here in FL without sugar!!! Sweeeeeet.

  18. Eileen says:

    For people looking for an organic raw sauerkraut that they can order online, I just discovered Wills Valley. (It was sold in little jars in my local health food store at a high price, but was sooooo delicious that I looked online to see if I could find it cheaper.) Bonus points: it’s never heated at all, meaning its probiotic content is higher than Bubbies. I like Bubbies, but I like the taste of Wills Valley even more. They have an online store where you can order it in bulk with reasonable shipping (they send it in vacuum sealed bags). I make my own kefir (from local, raw, organic goats milk -yay!) and just don’t want to take on another fermentation project at home. Here’s their website & they sell other raw fermented products as well:

  19. Angie says:

    Yay! (But darn at the same time!) I was just at the store and saw both Eden and Bubbies sauerkraut. I couldn’t find on the jar ANYWHERE where it said it was pasteurized, so I bought the Eden’s. Ugh! Now I find out that Eden DOES pasteurize and Bubbies doesn’t. Oh well. I guess I now know for next time! (By the way, this is just a stand-in while I wait what seems like FOREVER for my Pickl-It sauerkraut to be ready.)

    Thanks for the great info!

  20. June says:

    We love Bubbies here since reading about them on your site a few months back. Do you just eat the pickles and then throw out the liquid? I am wondering if there is something to do with the liquid left in the jar besides drinking it straight that would be of some benefit?

  21. Antoinette murray says:

    My 6 month old just grabbed a bubbies dill pickle out of my hand and started eating it!! We haven’t introduced solids yet! He just grabbed it! Is that ok?

  22. LaDonna says:

    How long do these products last in the refrigerator? i have probably had the relish over 6 months, is it still safe to eat?

  23. Jocelyn says:

    My Whole Foods (in ATL) just started carrying a new brand that is AWESOME. It’s called Farmhouse Cultures and they use a special packaging that basically has an airlock so no pressure buildup and NO heating so it’s totally RAW. We’ve tried three of their flavors, but our favorites are the Classic Caraway and Smoked Jalapeño. I’m hoping our WF will start carrying the one with beets because I’m dying to try it. So good! (And no, I don’t work for them…promise. LOL I think it’s from Cali.) Here’s their website:

  24. Krystal Wight Armstrong says:

    So this is one of those things that, as a fairly new person to the ‘real food’ venture, I hear a lot of talk about- against pasteurized things, and favor for raw milk & the like; but I haven’t yet come across the actual info about why these things are favored or not. I’m sure you have a post on it here somewhere, and I’d love a little point in the right direction so I can start to learn more and understand what is unfavorable about pasteurizing? Just a point of naivete for me (as I guess I don’t exactly know what the process really does) that I’d like to finally be educated on. Thanks!

  25. Bev in Texas says:

    I have been ordering raw (they are not heated at all and the lids to bulge sometimes when I order in the Texas heat!) fermented veggies from Rejuvenative Foods for years now. ( ).
    I noted today that they have ketchup with both honey and without (fermented). Our favorites are the finely shredded sauerkraut, pickles and kim-chi. We are a family of 8 doing GAPS right now so Rejuvenative is a lifesaver right now! All their produce is organic and they ferment for 5-7 days. They also have fermented salsa’s. If you order over $150 they include their insulated shipping for free so you and a couple of friends can put together an order to get that. We usually get our order within 3 days – it is shipped on Wednesday and we receive it on Friday most times.

  26. Leeyanne says:

    Thanks for the info. However, and after eating strictly organic for the past 8 years, it just dawned on me: BUBBIES PICKLES ARE NOT ORGANIC!! I don’t just mean they’re not certified, I mean they’re grown with pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and all the nasty chemicals! :-( So much for “all natural”! Why bother to go through the trouble of clean water and pure salt (if indeed it is sea salt.. why won’t the label say so? They can tell us whatever on the phone, yes they did me when I called too) if they’re going to use conventional, chemical-laden pickles! NO good! Think about it! Their label cannot say false stuff because they can get sued. So what does their label NOT say? “organic”; “sea salt” and “pesticide-free”. Voila!

    • Trillium says:

      Well I couldn’t find any info about Bubbies kraut being organic or GMO free on their site and wrote to them. My guess is they are not certified organic which is a big deal for us all but for a leaky gut it is even more critical. Here is a great video that breaks down how glyphosate messes with so many functions in the body and is being linked to many chronic and mental conditions. The researcher is Dr. Stephanie Seneff from MIT.

  27. Jenny says:

    So do you heat your sauerkraut and if so how and how hot? I dont want to kill what I am trying to eat.

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