How to Start Your Own Salsa Business - Chapter 7

In chapter 7, we are going to discuss acidification. Acidification is what we do to our salsa to achieve the necessary PH level. Since its the PH level that keeps the Cbot spores in check, it is absolutely critical that we know and record the PH level of EVERY batch of salsa we produce. At Peppy Pete's Gourmet Salsa, we produce all of our salsa products with a PH of 4.0 or lower. This gives us a sizable cushion from the 4.6 that is mandated by the FDA.

There are several ways to control the PH in salsa products. We use vinegar, lime juice and lemon juice in our salsa products to control the PH. Lime and lemon juice are generally lower in PH than vinegar and therefore require lesser amounts to bring the finished PH to your required level. Also, the taste of your product will be dictated by the acidification process. Trial and error will lead you to the right combination of acidifiers that achieve the desired PH and taste.

Remember, the PH level of your salsa, whether you are selling through retail, or just making salsa from that great garden you have in the back yard, is critical to producing a safe product for consumption. 4.6 is the highest PH level allowed by the FDA, but we think it a good idea to be well underneath that.

Also, Tomatoes are all over the map when it comes to PH. At Peppy Pete's we primarily use Roma Tomatoes, which are lower in PH than most. This gives us more flexibility in how much acidification is required.

Good luck and be sure to record the PH level of every batch of salsa you produce.