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"Love this starter."

I love this starter and always like to have some on hand if I can. I too like the taste of cultured vegetables that aren't too salty. Even though the price is somewhat high,I think it is well worth it.

- Sarah

Body Ecology Starter Culture

SKU: 2556
Body Ecology Vegetable Starter Culture

Availability: Out of stock

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While you can ferment vegetables at home using salt or whey, using a starter culture like this one can add bacteria to the process and can get things going more quickly. It's also a good option if you are looking for a salt-free ferment. Check out our collection of Cultured Vegetable Expert Advice Articles for more information on fermenting vegetables at home!

  • Each box contains 6 packets of starter culture.
  • Usage: Direct-set (single-use culture). Use 1 packet per batch to culture vegetables or to culture cream for making cultured butter or crème fraîche (see instructions below).
  • Storage: Store extra packets in freezer until ready to use.
  • Safety Notes: Not appropriate for culturing fruit, according to the manufacturer.
  • Additional instructions and recipes are included in box.


How to Ferment Vegetables with the Body Ecology Starter Culture

  • Add 1 packet culture to any vegetable ferment - 1 packet will culture up to 6 quarts (1.5 gallons) of vegetables.
  • Follow recipe instructions or ferment each batch at 70°F. 
  • Taste test your fermenting vegetables after 3 days. Ferment for up to 1 week or until they taste good to you.
  • Note: The instructions booklet will specify to use EcoBloom™ with this culture, but is not necessary for a successful vegetable ferment. [EcoBloom™ is a prebiotic from (and suggested by) Body Ecology made from 100% natural powder chicory extract.] You can use an alternate form of sugar like rapadura, Sucanat, honey or agave instead if you wish to supplement the starter culture though supplementation is not required.


How to Make Crème Fraîche & Cultured Butter with the Body Ecology Starter Culture

  • To make crème fraîche, add 1 packet starter culture to 1 pint heavy whipping cream.
  • Culture at 72-75°F for 24 hours.
  • To make cultured butter, make crème fraîche and follow the instructions in our article How to Make Cultured Butter.


Body Ecology Starter Storage and Shipping Information

Store in refrigerator or freezer. This product is shipped in a dehydrated state and keeps:

  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 12 months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12 months or more


Actual product may differ from image shown above.



Additional Information

UPC 00758000100229


3 Reviews For "Body Ecology Starter Culture"

Items 11 to 13 of 13 total
  1. Love this starter.

    by Sarah on 04/06/2014


    I love this starter and always like to have some on hand if I can. I too like the taste of cultured vegetables that aren't too salty. Even though the price is somewhat high,I think it is well worth it.

  2. Interesting stuff

    by Eh? on 03/24/2014


    Made a batch of cabbage using a packet of this culture and no salt whatsoever. It's good! We just each sprinkle salt to taste on our own serving. Nice to have home-fermented kraut that's not so salty. Works great in my fermenting crock.

  3. great for cultured vegetables

    by Mary on 12/23/2013


    Works well for cultured vegetables, good instructions but i modified slightly (didn't make the brine - used water just to cover) and cultured quickly.

Items 11 to 13 of 13 total

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Body Ecology Starter Culture Ingredients and Allergen Information

  • Lactobacillus plantarum, pediococcus acidolactici, leuconostoc cremoris, and inulin.
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients.
  • According to the manufacturer, this product is dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. 
  • May contain trace amounts of dairy.
  • Inulin is derived from chicory root.


Questions on Body Ecology Starter Culture

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Items 21 to 25 of 25 total
  • From Duise at 8/24/2011 4:17 PM
    • I am understanding this, can you pickle vegetables like pickles and cabbage etc. without needing to use salt with this product? I would like to pickle without the salt, because due to hypertension I have to watch my salt intake, so I have not done any pickling, though I would like to.
    • Yes, this product makes it possible to pickle/ferment without the use of salt, or with minimal salt for a crunchier texture.

      Often the product will not get quite as crunchy as a salted brine fermentation, but the taste and health benefits are there!
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sue at 7/13/2011 9:13 PM
    • what's the difference between the BS starter and the Caldwell's? I there a number of bacteria types that can be compared? I want the most variety plus bang for my buck. Thanks!
    • Each product page lists the ingredients and strains that are contained in the starter.

      For instance, the Caldwell starter contains sugar (as a carrier), skim milk powder, ascorbic acid, active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici). There is also an element of dairy in this product as a carrier, but the proportion in the final cultured veggies is absolutely minute, around 17 parts per million, which is below trace level.

      The BE starter contains lactobacillus plantarum, lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis, lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris., lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis, and leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. cremoris. It also contains glucose, as a carrier.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Laurent at 6/12/2011 7:05 AM
    • A matter of economy: what fraction
      of a packet is needed for fermenting
      a half gallon of cabbage?

      Substituting sugar for salt in the
      fermentation process is very attractive,
      but at what cost?
    • The measurement of the BE starter is generally done by pounds: one packet to about 4.5 pounds of vegetable. So you can calculate from that, how many pounds are going into a gallon of vegetables.

      Sugar is a completely different chemical from salt. Sugar is used as a preservative because it creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria, thus reducing spoilage, but it would therefore also inhibit fermentation. For fermentation, you want to encourage the enzyme activity in the vegetables, so salt (or whey) would do that. The vegetable starter culture contains the kind of bacteria that will jump-start the enzyme activity and produce fermentation.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From SnooZQ at 5/30/2011 10:34 AM
    • The recipe instructions for BE starter ("To Use BE Culture Starter" section) says to add "some form of sugar" when activating the starter with water.

      The quantity of sugar is not specified.

      I am under the impression that some sugars favor the development of yeasts rather than lactobacilli.

      Could you please advise on the amount of sugar needed to "awaken" the culture?

    • As you point out, the amount of sugar required is not specified - probably a teaspoon or so would be fine.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Lisa at 5/6/2011 8:30 AM
    • I am allergic to milk and gluten. Can I use this product as a vegetable starter for mason jars since I cannot use whey?
    • You can very likely use this product but you should check with your health practitioner. The starter is shipped in a carrier of milk powder. Once it is used to culture vegetables, the amount of milk in the finished product is around 17 parts per million, which is less than "trace" amounts.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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