Discovery of the process
The COLD GROWN® process came about as the solution to an evident problem. The problem of sprouts being implicated in outbreaks and some growers not following safe growing practices.
There is a concept in science that says that ‘a problem well defined is 80% solved.’ Dennis Lonergan, Chief Science Officer of Rä Foods LLC, identified that although contaminated seeds were part of the problem, the level of contamination itself wouldn’t be making anyone sick. The true “problem” was the huge increase in pathogens as sprouts were grown in the traditional method. “From there it was relatively straightforward.” Lonergan said, “I looked at a number of methods of keeping these pathogens from growing as the sprouts grew.” As most microbiologists know bacteria grow more slowly at lower temperatures (which is why we refrigerate our food). Lonergan explained that “out of all the things I tried, reducing the temperature was the only one that worked.” After two and a half years of intensive research this new cold growing process was discovered.
The process begins with the disinfected and hydrated seeds being planted in the container you ultimately purchase them in. After the seeds are placed in the container, all of the water that they will need to grow is added to the container and the lid on the container is closed. For several weeks, Wild About Sprouts® are grown at 40˚ F in their container, a container that protects them from any contamination. Whereas traditional sprouts, are grown typically at room temperature in a large drum.
As far as bacteria are concerned, the traditional method of growing sprouts looks a lot like leaving food out at room temperature for 5 or 6 days. Our process would be like storing produce in the refrigerator.
Benefits of the Cold Grown® solution
All COLD GROWN® Rä Wild About Sprouts® are produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way; making them herbicide-free, pesticide-free, and non-GMO. The process is unfriendly to pathogens as they are kept in an environment that does not sustain growth or cell viability. Wild About Sprouts® are grown quietly in the package, and remain untouched until harvested at home. Resulting in a naturally long shelf life of 21 days which means less shrink for the grocer and an overall better value for the consumer. It also results in less water waste and the Wild About Sprouts® container and grow pad are recyclable.