Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is Border Foods?
Border Foods is the nation's oldest and most established processors of green chile, jalapeño and tomatillo peppers and manufacturers of enchilada sauces for both the branded and private label markets.
2. How do I learn more about Mizkan Americas?
Visit the Mizkan
3. What causes chiles to be hot?
Heat (or pungency) is caused by chemical compounds called capsaicinoids. Capsaicin levels in a pepper pod are controlled by the genetics of the variety and environmental interaction of the plant while the plant is setting the pod. Each variety of pepper has its own propensity to generate heat, and the heat it generates can only be within that propensity. A pepper with a low propensity for heat and exposed to stress in the field will become more pungent. A pepper with a high propensity for heat grown under favorable conditions will only produce moderate heat.
4. What is Scoville rating or unit?
Scoville rating or unit is a scale to rate the heat of a pepper, the higher the rating the hotter the pepper. Border Foods uses a High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph, or HPLC. In this method, the pods are ground and the capsaicinoids are chemically extracted. The extracted chemicals are injected into the HPLC machine for analysis. This produces a much more accurate rating.
5. Is there such thing as a “no heat” jalapeño?
Yes. As a matter of fact there are several. We are currently developing a variety with great success.
6. Can we purchase green chile year ‘round?
Yes, but the best quality chile is grown in our local area. Chile grown outside our "local area" don’t have that great flavor unique to the Southwest desert region, or the wall thickness customers prefer. Additionally green chile doesn’t hold up to long distance trips.
7. Can we purchase Jalapeños year ‘round?
Yes we can! Jalapeños are much better adapted to growing well in other areas, as well as our local area. They also hold up to the trip a lot better than a green chile does. Border Foods is currently sourcing jalapeño 12 months out of the year.
8. Where do green chiles grow?
The best tasting green chile is grown right here in the high desert of southern New Mexico, Southern Arizona, and Northern Chihuahua, Mexico.
9. Where do jalapeños grow?
Jalapeños will also grow all over the United States and Mexico. Jalapeños are a little better adapted to growing well in more diverse areas.
10. Are green chiles and jalapeños all hand picked?
Well . . . yes and no. Currently all green chile is hand picked, but not all jalapeños are hand picked. The mechanically harvested jalapeño pepper business is still in a learning stage, but it is rapidly making progress.
11. Is there something that can be added to a salsa to make it hotter?
Yes, there are two things. One, add more jalapeño! Second, Capsaicin can be extracted from other peppers and then added as a liquid to salsas to make them hotter.