The newest Peruvian superfood to hit the market


Ana Gamero

Quinoa may no longer be Peru’s favourite super food. Recent studies put chiles and peppers as the new protagonists.

Chili known as aji is one of the most common ingredients in the Peruvian diet, if not the most popular one. There are around 300 varieties of chiles in Peru which places Peru as the country with the greatest diversity of peppers in the world, leaving countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India and China behind.

Peru's goal is to introduce a new super food product into the global market. Researchers at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM) are working together with the Flemish University of Belgium on the Capsicum project which is looking to develop studies on the opportunities that chiles and peppers could have abroad. Additionally, they state that the promotion of such products could improve the development of Peru's rural areas.

Chiles and peppers could become super food ingredients as they have very high sources of vitamins and nutrients. They are high in fiber, vitamins A, C, K, B6, potassium and magnesium.

A recent study from the University of Wuppertal in Germany, also highlights the nutritional values of those two vegetables. One hundred and forty seven samples of chiles and peppers were analysed and the results indicated that they possess exceptional antioxidants, ascorbic acid and flavonoids properties. German researchers stressed a surprising fact, that eating chili can even prolong life.

What are the possibilities to successfully export chiles and peppers? It would be easy to enter foreign markets as there is, as UNALM studies reveal, a growing global trend for spicy flavors.

Looks like we should start eating more aji !

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