Desiree Mettille-Schenkel (right) says company chefs such as Haliburton's Joseph Antonio (front) and Carl Scayan help customers maximize ingredient applications.

For long-term frozen storage of vegetables, the peroxidase enzyme must be deactivated, typically by blanching, a wet-heating process. The procedure adds moisture to the vegetables and can result in poor color retention, poor texture and washed-out flavors.

To combat these problems, a fire-roasting process has become popular. Fire roasting deactivates the peroxidase enzyme in vegetables through a dry-heating process. The high temperature of fire roasting can help to retain color and texture of fresh vegetables and enhances natural fresh vegetable flavors by caramelizing the natural sugars in the vegetable.

Desiree Mettille-Schenkel, executive vice president and co-owner of Haliburton International Corp., explains that “Haliburton has a proprietary fire-roasting process with the highest temperature roasting process in the industry.” When combining the fire-roasting process with cryogenic freezing, the result is individually quick frozen (IQF) fire-roasted vegetables with the crispest textures, brightest colors and the best flavors of any product on the market, she says.

The fire-roasting process allows manufacturers to incorporate shelf-stable purees and chopped vegetables with confidence into salad dressings, sauces, prepared entrées, salsas and dips. The Haliburton family of vegetable purees, chile pepper purees and salsa bases are heat pasteurized and filled into aseptic flexible pouches with shelflives ranging from one to two years. Shelf-stable products include fire-roasted tomatillo, onion, shallot, garlic, eggplant, tomato, bell pepper and a variety of hot pepper purees. The frozen line includes IQF fire-roasted corn, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, chile peppers, artichoke hearts, eggplant, onion, garlic and yellow squash. Haliburton also has exclusive “Romatillo®,” a combination of roasted roma tomato and tomatillo, which can be used in salsas and sauces and provides bold, roasted flavor top notes.

In cold-processed products such as salad dressings, salsas and fresh sauces, high microbial counts cause premature spoilage. Sun dried peppers, such as chiles, may have excessively high bacteria. Dehydrated pepper powders also often have high bacterial, mold and spore counts, but Haliburton's pasteurized vegetable and chile pepper purees solve these problems.

Haliburton's proprietary deseeding process for chile peppers provides the advantage of fresh pepper notes from the pulp without the bitter note and gritty texture of the seeds. Examples of seedless chile pepper purees are chipotle, ancho, New Mexico, guajillo and California.

Chile peppers have become a main staple in the food manufacturing industry and are available in a wide range of flavors and heat intensity levels. Heat in peppers is measured by Scoville Heat Units (SHU), with mild bell peppers starting at 0 SHUs. Medium heat peppers such as poblano, New Mexico and ancho range up to 2,000 SHUs, while the hottest peppers are jalapeño, serrano, cayenne and habanero. Some varieties of Habanero can reach up to 300,000 SHUs. All are commercially available in a variety of colors and heat levels.

For more information:
Haliburton International Corp., Fontana, Calif.
Don Maderich • or
Desiree Mettille-Schenkel