They come pasteurised more often than not, just to kill off the bacteria so it can be stored in jars at the supermarket for longer, unlike yoghurt.
This sounds very, very uncommon to me.
I even looked up Sauerkraut on Wikipedia to make sure you are talking about the same stuff as I am.
From this Wikipedia article, I read that Sauerkraut has been fermented by lactic-acid bacteria, giving it its distinctive sour flavour. This fermentation process also makes sure that Sauerkraut can be stored for long times (months) without the need for refridgeration – which once was the primary reason for creating the stuff in the first place.
This ability to store Sauerkraut for long times means that pasteurization is not necessary. Also, pasteurization may kill most of the bacteria you seem to be looking for.
About boiling Sauerkraut: that’s the way it is traditionally consumed in my country. It is then a main course. You may also use it as a side dish, without it having been heated. Even then, of course, pasteurization is not needed.
Note that Sauerkraut was used as one of the main foods during winter and early spring by most of the population during the middle ages, and by travelling salesmen and armies alike during the entire year – without any pasteurization. For the same reason yoghurt is never pasteurized, Sauerkraut needs no pasteurization either.
I love the way you respond to people on here, very condescending.
It doesn’t matter whether it needs pasteurisation, it comes that way in most supermarkets and is very commonly processed into jars that way.
It is done to keep an even longer shelf-life, so therefore it is done for long-term selling in supermarkets. Just because it isn’t done in your country doesn’t mean that what I’m saying is “wrong”.
I bought some pasteurised sauerkraut last year and it said use by 2015. Unpasteurised doesn’t last that long. It will spoil way before then.
And obviously I am talking about sauerkraut as well.
I suggest you check your attitude at the door before posting on things you don’t know everything about.