This is a blended variety of alfalfa sprouts with other sprouts mixed in. The alfalfa component should have crisp white roots and green tops, but the other sprouts can look quite different. Deli sprouts include radish, which may be naturally pigmented pink or red and often have fuzzy looking root hairs along the length. Deli also contains lentils which have roots that are broader, usually smooth with red or green seed ends. Approximate shelf life is 14 days.
In our line of business we get asked a lot of questions about our food, distribution, and safety practices. One of the questions we are frequently asked is if our Deli blend has mold when it looks like this:
This isn’t mold. Our Deli blend with its radish sprouts, has root hairs. While it may look like mold, it is entirely natural. In the case of our Deli blend, looks can be deceiving.
When we start our Deli blend, we store the buckets in the cooler for two days. During this time, they dry slightly, triggering the cilia to extend out.
Cilia are hairlike structures, made primarily of protein, and are found on the surfaces of cells and used for movement by microorganisms and some specialized cells.
After the cooler, the Deli Blend is ‘spread’ on top of partly grown Alfalfa seeds, and goes into a dark and light grow room in turn, where it is watered frequently. This watering process will cause the cilia to lie flush with the root.
This picture was taken from a package of Deli sprouts. Here you can see the pigmented Radish root without the vibrant extensions seen when the Deli blend is in its pre-spread state.
Over time, in the grocery store, or in your fridge, the sprouts will dry a little (as they are still growing!) and this will cause those same cilia to extend and exhibit that fluffiness that is so frequently mistaken for mold.