Clean Label Capsicums Offer Multiple Avenues for Exciting Flavor Delivery

In the United States, ethoxyquin is a commonly used synthetic antioxidant for chili powder, paprika and ground chili to preserve color and extend product shelf life. However, ethoxyquin appears on many “no-no” lists as an unacceptable food ingredient and is not permitted as food additive for certified organic products.

Finding out whether a food product is truly “clean” is only a few taps away on a consumer’s smartphone. Today’s buyers are savvy, and they value brands that meet their labeling desires up front, with no surprises or gimmicks. So food manufacturers and brand owners have to overcome the challenge - to meet consumers’ demand for natural and clean-label products without sacrificing finished products’ flavor, appearance or shelf life.

Since the 1990s, we have offered a “none added” option for paprika, chili peppers and chili powders where we simply leave color preservative like ethoxyquin out of our clean label capsicum products. In recent years, the demand for our clean label capsicums has increased as spicy foods become hugely popular with Millennials and other consumers thanks to their love of heat, which in turn drives up overall demand for capsicums. More importantly, we are seeing additional manufacturers start sourcing capsicums with no ethoxyquin added in response to consumers’ needs.

Lack of preservatives can shorten product shelf life since pigment oxidation can have a direct impact on the appearance of finished products containing capsicums. An option we currently have available for our clean-label paprika line is the addition of rosemary extract, a natural antioxidant, together with rice hulls instead of silicon dioxide for anticaking purposes. 

Since color lost in paprika and red chili peppers is due to oxidation of carotenoids, the natural pigments responsible for the orange/red color of chili peppers, instead we can formulate with green chili peppers to avoid the need for antioxidants altogether. We have seen a tremendous growth in our green chili varietals like jalapeño and the New Mexico HATCH™ Chile.

In addition to the various clean label offerings, Sensient Natural Ingredients also leads the way when it comes to overseeing and controlling the entire growing process, from partnering with growers who use exceptional quality control in the fields all the way to and through the processing sites.

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Additional Resources


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Market Insights

Consumers want to travel the culinary world — why not help them?

Conveniently packed seasonings have grown from 2% of overall global seasoning launches to a 5% share.

Bake natural ingredients and clean labeling into products for success

Having it all presents challenges

When it comes to prepared baked goods, consumers are eager to indulge in unique and innovative flavors — but they still want to know how the baked product is made and what’s inside.

That means presenting indulgent snacks that have a “better for you” twist. On the list of consumer demands:

  • Healthier ingredients
  • Minimal processing
  • Smaller portions
  • Convenience

“US-grown, non-GMO and organic ingredients with full traceability can be used to develop artisan baked goods such as Vanilla Parsley Cookies, Ancho Chocolate Muffins, and Cajun Spice Bagels.Unique offerings capture flavor — and consumers ”

Sensient Natural Ingredients comes to the table with a US-grown organic platform that includes roasted garlic, toasted and smoked onion, cayenne, jalapeño, guajillo, ancho, and parsley. We also provide premium offerings, including naturally smoked vegetables, and HATCH™ Chile from New Mexico Hatch Valley. These natural ingredients can deliver new flavors to baked goods like never before – Vanilla Parsley cookies, Ancho Chocolate muffins, Cajun Spice bagels, to name a few.

Give consumers products that provide the indulgence they crave with the simplicity and transparency they demand. How? Sensient’s Certasure™ program ensures that all our organic ingredients go through stringent quality testing, full raw material traceability and the best manufacturing practices.Visit market insight and  product application for more information.

Bigger, bolder, better: Consumers leaning toward spicier foods

Fun, flavorful food with some heat is capturing palates and market share

Trying to grab some of the Millennial market? Then offer food (and sometimes beverages) that bring together a sense of adventure and a taste that’s unusual — with a kick! Along with other consumers (both older and younger), this sometimes-finicky crowd is looking for:

  • Spice. It can be heat or a fuller flavor, such as that provided by New Mexico’s HATCH™ Chili Pepper.
  • Traceability. Transparent, sourceable ingredients that tie into the clean-label trend.
  • Convenience. Singles, couples and families are embracing meal kits and delivery services. They want exciting combinations prepared for them so they don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.

“Consumers love the idea of restaurant-style appetizers and menu items that they can prepare and enjoy at home. Spicy, smoked flavors provide the artisanal touch they seek and are willing to pay for.”

Adventurous palates mean brand loyalty if the flavor’s on target

Go beyond hot. Delve into what spice is all about by creating robust, unmistakable flavors that meld sweet with heat, smoky with sweet and more. Don't just aim to be the next Sriracha; create the sauces, condiments, snacks and entrees that will drive consumer interest and result in robust sales.

Whether it’s garlic, onions, chili peppers or other natural vegetables, herbs and spices, Sensient Natural Ingredients has the palette of ingredients to add heat, spice, flavor and sizzle to your products. Let our team consult with yours to create flavors that take you in a whole new direction.

Consumers want to travel the culinary world — why not help them?

Seasonings with an international flair pique interest and create sales

While not everyone has the time for an international “gastro tour” of culinary delights, we all like to try interesting and unusual flavors from different lands. Consumers will pursue products that offer that kind of seasoning and flavor that they can enjoy at home. What’s driving the trend?

  • A yen for exploration. Consumers want combinations of flavors and tastes they have not had before.
  • Convenience. The rise of meal-kit delivery services, and their local-grocer counterparts, showcase the novelty of foreign cuisine and the growing interest in home preparation.
  • Organic/clean ingredients. As in other products, consumers want these new flavors to be identifiable, and they’d like to know their backstory.

“International flavors are hot: Over the past two years, conveniently packed seasoning products have grown from 2 percent of overall global seasoning launches to a 5 percent share.”

Spices and seasonings also benefit from a health and wellness angle

In addition to choosing seasonings that are clean-label and organic, consumers also are exploring international seasonings (as well as home-grown ones) to pursue cooking with and eating less sodium. And for those whose dietary choices include salt? Infused, artisanal blends are capturing a growing market share.

Creating fascinating blends of seasonings and spices is what we do at Sensient Natural Ingredients every day. Let us partner with your team to review current and in-development products and see where our array of flavors can take you.