Chiles Kick Up Flavor and Nutrition

October 26, 2012

2 Min Read
Chiles Kick Up Flavor and Nutrition

A decade-long trend of increased demand for Latin-inspired foods has spurred innovations in the chile pepper market. For consumers and chefs alike, adding an ethnic twist to any meal is easily accomplished by incorporating chile, the key is in knowing how to integrate this simple ingredient into food items. "Chiles not only add varying levels of heat, but also offer complexities and ways to develop depth of flavor, viscosity and subtle nuances to the obvious salsas, sauces and stews, but also to not-so-obvious salad dressings, side dishes, dips, sandwich toppings, ice creams, sorbets and baked goods," says Barbara Zatto, director of culinary, sales manager West food ingredients, Mizkan Americas.

According to a February 2012 report from Mintel, Chicago, two-thirds of survey respondents who eat ethnic food say authentic, traditional flavors are the most important factor. That means pumping up the heat in Mexican-inspired products, which is what Border Foods, Inc.,® has specialized in since 1972. The company, located in New Mexico, was acquired by Mizkan Americas in May 2011 and is the nation's oldest processor of green and red chiles, jalapeños and tomatillo. Border Foods also manufactures enchilada sauces for branded and private-label markets.

More than just giving food a spicy kick, chiles also provide health benefits like being low in calories, but high in potassium, and vitamins A and C. Zatto has successfully used chile products from Border Foods in several prototypes. "They are very easy to use, and can be applied to almost any production scenario," she says. "They can be roasted, frozen and retorted in the processing plant.  In manufacturing, they can be used fresh, baked, frozen, or used in the kettle cooking process. The products keep their integrity in almost any environment."

The American palate is trending toward chiles cooked at a low heat level for a longer period of time. "This allows the end product to have rich flavor, without sharp heat levels," Zatto says. Green chiles are among the most widely used in the United States because of their mild flavor, ranging from 0 to 300 Scoville units. Border Foods takes the guesswork out of cooking chiles with a product line comprised of tomatillo, green chile and green and red jalapeñosall available in a variety of forms, including diced, puréed, frozen and IQF.

Mizkan Americas, Inc.Food Ingredients

1661 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300

Mt. Prospect, IL  60056

Phone: 630/244-7244

E-mail: [email protected]


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