Ever thrown out a jar of kimchi because of those pesky white mold bubbles? Fear not – it’s not mold, it’s yeast! Researchers say just skim it off, rinse the veggie, heat it and it’s totally safe to eat. The World Institute of Kimchi (WiKim) released a study on the hygienic safety of the yeast strains that form on kimchi, a report which was published in the Journal of Microbiology. WiKim General Director Dr. Jaeho Ha said the study is significant because “it is a step forward toward the alleviation of the anxiety for hygienic safety of kimchi.”

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Fermentation is dominating 2019 food prediction lists. The New York Times says fermented foods and fermented drinks will rule in 2019. The year’s flavor profile will be “Sour and funky, with shades of heat,” melding fermented ingredients with millennial taste buds. Probiotics and prebiotics will continue to reign as consumers focus on gut health. “As the obsession with digestive health dovetails with the fascination for fermenting, kimchi, sauerkraut and pickled things will work their way into new territory. Smoothies with kefir will be popular, and kombucha will show up in unexpected places like salad dressings,” the article continues. What will you be eating in 2019?

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“Dealing with fame” – an ABC Life story about kimchi. The condiment is consumed at every meal by 63 percent of Koreans. And today the salty fermented cabbage is served at restaurants all over the world, from breakfast diners to burger joints. Australian chef Peter Jo: “Kimchi isn’t a dish, it’s a technique.”

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Kimchi: the Fermented Flu Vaccine

Kimchi is a scientifically proven safeguard against the flu. New research proves, with fall flu season around the corner, we should stock up on kimchi. The fermented Korean food has an antiviral effect that stops the growth of the influenza virus. Flu-infected mice that ate kimchi had a higher survival rate and lost less weight. The study also referenced the 2003 SARS pandemic in Hong Kong and China — Korea was the only place where few people were infected with the virus, attributed to Korean’s love of kimchi. Study results were published in the Journal of Microbiology.

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Probiotics are good for the bones, a new study finds. Older women who took probiotics had less bone weakening than women who did not take probiotics. Fermented foods rich in probiotics include pickled veggies (sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi), yogurt, kefir, kvass and natto.

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Barrel Creek Provisions is now selling on-the-go pouches of their fermented carrots, cucumbers and okra. Formerly known as Hat Creek, the company is rebranding as a powerhouse in the fermented foods industry. Their veggies fermented purely, submerged in a salt brine for a week without heat.

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Great news for kimchi producers wanting to expand to vegan products. A new study from researchers at Brown University found that vegan kimchi made with miso paste instead of fish sauce or brined shrimp produces the same final healthy bacteria as traditional kimchi. This is because of “the selective pressure of the fermentation environment” which is so powerful that a new ingredient doesn’t impact the bacterial community.

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More consumers are buying kimchi. A market analysis of the Korean fermented vegetable dish found that, globally, kimchi sales will grow by 20-45% a year through 2022. Since 2012, the kimchi market has steadily grown in the U.S. and India.

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A growing population of Korean Americans means an uptick in Korean restaurants across the U.S. The new Her Name is Han in NYC serves modern twists on Korean soul food. Fermented dishes include radish kimchi jambalaya, banana-flavored rice beer and homemade ssamjang (fermented soy bean sauce).

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Food & Ferments is making headlines for their 1st place prize for their Hearts on Fire flavored kraut in the national Good Food Awards.Dave and Carly Dougherty run the Central NY biz and make sauerkrauts, kimchi, kvass and tonics.

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