The vast majority of our products are fermented using salt as a fundamental element to have a controlled fermentation. In general, we use 13% to 15% of salt when grinding the fresh fruits for our mash, purees and concentrates of all the varieties in our portfolio: Habanero, Cayenne, Jalapeño, Serrano and Peruvian Yellow.
Customers who are not used to fermented products often do not see the need to use that high percentage of salt. In fact, salt is essential in our fermentation process and perhaps the only thing a customer needs to do to ensure that their final products are not left with excess salt is to reduce or eliminate the salt from the original recipe in which our product is one ingredient. Why should you modify the salt? Because our fermentation process requires a specific level of salt to ensure that the product is not damaged over time and to ensure that its flavor and color are maintained throughout the product’s useful life. Let’s see what the function of salt is.
In general we always hear that salt is a natural preservative. We have heard of meat and fish preserved in salt as an ancient technique in many cultures around the world. The function of salt in this practice is to eliminate the conditions for the growth of microorganisms such as harmful bacteria that damage food. Harmful bacteria generally require a moist medium and sugars. Salt helps reduce the water content of foods and creates the conditions for lactobacilli (good bacteria) to develop, which feed on sugars until they reduce sugars to very low level. This slows the growth of harmful bacterial microorganisms and sometimes stops them altogether.
For this same reason, salt is a fundamental ingredient in the fermentation of any food. The salt in the fermentation processes ensures that the lactobacilli, have better conditions to reproduce than the harmful bacteria that can damage the product. The salt then ensures the ideal conditions for a healthy and very profitable fermentation for human consumption.
In addition to this primary role in the success of fermentation, salt helps maintain the organoleptic qualities of fermented foods. For this reason, our pastes, purees and concentrates, retain the color, smell and spiciness exactly as if it were the fresh ground chili peppers. The salt in the fermentation allows us to maintain these characteristics throughout the useful life of our products: 2 years.
This is why we give priority to the use of salt in the preparation of this ingredient to ensure its qualities of taste, smell and color over time and the bacterial health of the ingredient itself. While the salt in the process of preparing a final product is generally used only to enhance the flavor of the preparation.
Fermented pastes and purees are a great alternative to fresh ingredients that are difficult and delicate to handle. The salt is a natural additive that allows us to have the taste, color and spiciness of a fresh ingredient throughout a long period of time.