If you are faced with the option of ghost pepper salsa versus a hot salsa, which product would you choose?
Many consumers want flavors that include a specific chili pepper—combined with other spices or flavors—for a resulting complex and spicy flavor. Let’s face it: today’s mild, medium and hot labels are less interesting to more adventurous consumers. This new breed of consumer wants heat—plus flavor. Consumers also demand more transparency and share a desire to better understand ingredient sources.
Chili peppers are used to enhance flavor—heat, pungency, warmth and bite—as well as the color of prepared foods. Although sometimes brined, chili peppers are more commonly preserved through dehydration before they are subsequently crushed, ground, flaked or extracted as oleoresin capsicum. How can manufacturers add the heat and flavor complexity consumers desire—without the hassle of working with fresh peppers?
If heat is all you need, capsicum extracts present an ideal alternative to using fresh peppers. Kalsec offers capsicum products—ranging from those that are decolorized all the way to those with high color; and from those with no heat to extreme heat. All these products come in a wide range of solubilities, which make it easy to add the right amount of heat to a variety of food and beverages.
Kalsec’s ClearCap® Super Soluble Capsicum provides distinctive heat with no color and is ideal for use in salsas, sauces, marinades, condiments and pickling brines. That’s because it can add pungency while remaining virtually colorless. All chili peppers that Kalsec grows for our capsicum extracts are US grown.
Pick Your Pepper
What if you want to add pepper specificity? Kalsec expeller pressed specialty peppers include label-friendly extracts such as jalapeno, ghost, habanero and serrano. These offerings let product developers meet consumer food preferences for more complex and specific sources of pungency. Of course, this also lets manufacturers indicate the pepper type on their label. This is particularly important as consumers become more familiar with different peppers and actively seek out certain types.
For example, Kalsec research, shows that US consumers are currently most familiar with cayenne, chipotle, and jalapeno peppers. However, there is a growing recognition of other varieties—including habanero, ghost, and ancho peppers. Meanwhile, some of the most adventurous consumers are interested in serrano, green hatch, and guajillo peppers.
Beyond pepper specificity and ingredient traceability, it’s clear to see that consumers also are craving products that bring a culinary dimension to heat expression.
Kalsec Fusionary® Heat products pair a heat ingredient with a savory, sour, sweet or tangy flavor attributes. These ingredients help formulators create more truly unique flavor and on-trend flavor profiles. Interesting, this trend goes hand-in-hand with the idea of adding heat to non-traditional applications such as yogurt, milk, chocolate, and even ice cream.
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