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Lactofermentation for Vegetables (Video)

Dr. Tony Savard and his team at the St-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre have worked with the food processing partners to develop a unique process for an entirely vegetable-based fermentation for vegetables. It’s great news for the food processing industry and consumers. View the video to learn more.

Video Transcript

[An image and a maple leaf appear on screen. This is the title graphic for the video.]

[Light, electronic music fades in.]

Text on screen: Lactofermentation For Vegetables

[The video opens with a shot of a man wearing blue rubber gloves moving a rack of fresh cheese onto a cart.]

Tony Savard (voice over): Ferments, and fermentation technology, have always been around in both the dairy industry, as in cheese and yogurt...

[Cut to a shot of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientist, Tony Savard. He is wearing a white lab coat and standing in his laboratory. He is looking slightly off camera.]

...and the meat industry - fermented meats and sausages.

[Cut to a shot of someone cutting up a head of savoy cabbage.]

Oddly, fermentation technology was not used for vegetables.

[Cut back to a closer shot of Tony Savard.]

Text on screen: Dr. Tony Savard, Microbiologist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

My name is Tony Savard. I am a researcher at Agriculture Canada...

[Cut to a shot of Tony and a member of his research team examining a sample of shredded vegetables.]

...and a trained microbiologist.

[Cut back to a close shot of Tony Savard.]

The large food companies that produce fermented vegetables tend to pasteurize them.

[Cut to a shot of a young man pushing a shopping cart in a supermarket. He grabs a glass jar off the shelf and puts it into his cart.]

This results in a loss of quality and loss of taste, but also gives long-term stability.

[Cut to a series of shots of pickles being made in a small industrial environment.]

The small companies -- that have come to us for help -- sell live, unpasteurized foods. What we did was to take a little of what existed in other foodstuffs to select the best ferments.

[Cut back to Tony Savard.]

Using those, we were able to develop ferments that allow the product to be stored at room temperature for several months...

[Cut to a shot of two mason jars, one containing bright orange carrots and the other containing green pickles. The camera pans in to the mason jars then cuts to a close up of the top half of the jars.]

...without preservatives, without pasteurization, without refrigeration and without any of the new technologies we have today.

[Cut back to a longer shot of Tony Savard.]

Often with fermentation, the whole of the vegetable does not get fermented. There is secondary fermentation. There are microorganisms called "yeasts"...

[Cut to a high angle shot of just the mason jar containing carrots. We now see bubbles appearing in the jar.]

...that produce gas such that they can cause glass jars to explode.

[Cut to a time lapse shot of a freight being moved around a port.]

In a distribution network or food market...

[Cut to a tracking shot of a transport truck moving quickly down a highway.]

...that is not feasible.

[Cut back to a longer shot of Tony Savard.]

Therefore, even if the product is excellent, with excellent quality, the shelf life would be affected by secondary fermentation.

[Cut to a shot of one of Tony Savard's team members working with a scientific device. The shot changes to a closer, over-the-shoulder view. The shot changes once more to a close up of the hands of the scientist.]

So, what we did is that we researched the microorganisms responsible for fermentation. We selected them...

[Cut back to a medium shot of Tony Savard.]

...which gave not only better processing results, but also better results in terms of quality, taste and bio-activity...

[Cut to another one of Tony Savard's team members opening a refrigerated cabinet.]

...and then we reintroduced those bacteria as ferments.

[Cut to a close up shot of one of the beakers inside the refrigerated cabinet.]

[Cut back to a close up shot of Tony Savard.]

Obviously, the fermented vegetable market is for everyone, but primarily vegetarians and vegans.

[Cut to a team member of Tony Savard's. She is placing small test vials into a rack. She then inserts the rack into a machine. She sits down at a computer and begins to set up the machine for testing.]

Ferments are small bacteria that have been made into a powder in a powdered milk based medium.

[Cut back to a close up shot of Tony Savard.]

We saw that there was a demand for something entirely plant-based. Therefore, the latest technologies that we have developed to meet that demand are fully vegan ferments.

[Cut to a pan shot of people grabbing produce from a shelf in a grocery store.]

Meaning ferments derived from plants, freeze-dried on plant-based matter, and then used to process vegetables.

[Cut to a shot of a man wearing a hard hat walking through a warehouse facility.]

Food today crosses borders...

[Cut to a shot of workers moving boxes down a conveyor belt.]

...and we must ensure that the food...

[Cut to a shot of cargo being loaded into the belly of a plane.]

...continues to maintain its viability.

[Cut to a shot of a plane flying over the camera.]

[Cut back to a medium shot of Tony Savard.]

Fermentation increases food safety.

[Cut to a medium shot of the two mason jars from earlier. There are bubbles in the jars. The camera then pulls back so that the mason jars are smaller and on the bottom right, leaving a large white space in the left area of the screen.]

Why? Because with fermentation, not only are the beneficial properties of the food maintained, but it also creates a host of composites with antimicrobial properties.

Text on screen: Antimicrobial for bad bacteria

They get rid of bad bacteria, not the good bacteria.

[The text on screen disappears and different text takes its place.]

Therefore, we get food that can be kept for a long time, cannot be contaminated, and that detoxifies other foods when mixed with them because it contains natural antimicrobial agents.

Text on screen: Long shelf life, cannot be contaminated, detoxifies other foods

[Cut to a shot of three bowls, each containing different fermented vegetables. We see fermented carrots, fermented red cabbage, and fermented fiddleheads.]

It becomes a super food in the category of foods and scientific innovations.

[Cut to a shot of hundreds of clean glass jars moving down a conveyor belt on their way to being filled.]

There was an obvious need in the industry and they came knocking on our door.

[Cut back to a longer shot of Tony Savard.]

Here at Agriculture Canada, we have various programs to support the industry. One of those programs was a capital cost-sharing program.

[Cut to an overhead shot of four people working around a computer.]

It helps to minimize risk and to do work that actually meets industry needs.

[Cut back to a medium shot of Tony Savard.]

To take an old technology that is practically prehistoric, to modernize it and to enhance the beneficial effects of this processing and preservation technique is an interesting validation. It is interesting from the consumer, industrial and from a research perspective as well.

[Cut to the end graphic for the video.]

Text on screen: Modern. Innovative. Growing. Discover other agricultural innovations at

[Cut to the animated Canada wordmark.]

Text on screen: Canada. (c) Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2016)

[Light, electronic music fades out.]

[Fade to black.]

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