The first thing is to define what we mean by “fermented” food. Fermentation is a process that is driven by microorganisms; it can drive both spoilage and preservation of foods, so it’s important to understand the science and use best practices to ensure safety when fermenting foods.
There are so many different fermented foods – we just participated in the inaugural “Brine, Brew, and Barrel Fermentation Festival,” and we were thrilled to showcase our goodies alongside so many fermentation fans!
Fermented foods include pickles, beer, wine, mead, sauerkraut, kimchi, most cheese, chocolate, sourdough bread, yogurt, miso, most cured meats, kombucha, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and so much more.
Not all fermented foods contain live cultures. Many food products undergo further processing after fermentation: pasteurization, smoking, baking, or filtering. All of these processes kill or remove the live microorganisms. Examples of foods that undergo fermentation but do not contain live microorganisms at the time of consumption are soy sauces, most beers and wines, sourdough bread, and chocolate.International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics: https://isappscience.org/for-scientists/resources/fermented-foods/
Our pickles are fermented using vinegar to produce lactobacillus activity.
Some – but not all – of the probiotics are killed by the canning process, which add the necessary heat to kill dangerous bacteria. There are thermophilic probiotics that can survive the canning process. A “live ferment” like kimchi or sauerkraut that is not pasteurized will contain more live probiotics than any canned fermented food. However, canned pickles and fermented foods typically retain profound health benefits.
We hope this explanation helps to answer the question, “is this fermented?”