American and European consumers continue to seek out hot and spicy foods and beverages, according to recent postings by the U.S. and EU HeatSync Heat Indexes. The Kalsec HeatSync Heat Indexes are measurement tools that follow usage of more than 30 different peppers. In collaboration with market data from Mintel’s Menu Insights and the Global New Products Database (GNPD), the U.S. index evaluates more than 2,400 restaurant food and drink menus, while the EU index measures retail product introductions in Europe.

In the first six months of 2013, the Kalsec U.S. and EU HeatSync Heat Indexes both posted strong increases, with the U.S. index up 38% and the EU index increasing 26% over the previous six months. In the European market, sweet chili, piquillo and cayenne peppers showed the strongest increases. The European index has continued its growth climb since 2007. The popular jalapeno and cayenne peppers led the strong growth in the U.S. for the first half of 2013. The banana and pepperoncini peppers also contributed to the increased U.S. demand. “The significant increase in demand and diversity of pepper types supports a global trend toward the consumer’s desire for a more complex and flavorful heat experience,” says Karen Buczek, product director of Kalsec natural spice and herb flavor extracts.

The index is named after the Kalsec HeatSync Systems, designed to control the timing, intensity and location on the palate of heat (pungency) to be delivered for specific application requirements. The Kalsec HeatSync Heat Indexes will be updated and reported every six months and are available for viewing at

Additional Kalsec heat management innovations include Szechuan pepper extract, ClearCap Super Soluble capsicum, encapsulated extracts and a complete line of specialty peppers.

Kalsec is the leading global producer of natural spice and herb flavor extracts, natural colors, natural antioxidants, and advanced hop products for the food and beverage industry. For more than 50 years, Kalsec has consistently delivered high-quality, innovative ingredient solutions that make products look better, taste better and last longer. Kalsec is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit