Food Engineering/Manufacturing/hot sauce


Hello! question... I do hot sauce from red habanero peppers.. some batches turn dark in the bottle after a couple of months, you shake them and they turn a bit red again but they look awful when dark.

The pigments in the peppers may be reacting with sunlight. This is fairly common with natural colors. One possible approach might be to package your sauce in green or brown bottles. Another could be to place a relatively large label on a clear glass bottle. Some hot sauces add sulfur dioxide or related salts as preservatives. The shaking effect suggests that the discoloration is at the interior surface of the bottles while the center is less affected, which would confirm my suggestion that it is caused by light. Keeping the sauce refrigerated would reduce the rate of deterioration because of lower temperature and by reducing exposure to light.  

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J. Peter Clark


How various processed foods are made; ways to improve manufacturing; how to make a new food product.


Employment history: Research Engineer, U.S.Agricultural Research Service, Associate Professor Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Director of Research, Continental Baking Company, President, Epstein Process Engineering, Inc., Vice Presdent Technology, Fluor Daniel, Inc., Consultant to the Process Industries

Organizations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Fellow) Institute of Food Technologists, American Association of Cereal Chemists, American Association of Candy Technologists, American Society of Agricultural Engineers,

Publications: Several Encyclopedias (Kirk and Othmer, Chemical Technology; Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition; Wiley Encyclopedia of Food Science and Technology; Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems); five books, two book chapters; numerous journals.

Education: BSChE Notre Dame PhD University of California, Berkeley

Awards: AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award 1998

Clients: Major food processing and pharamaceutical companies.

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