If you recall, we told you about the kerfluffle over the Sriracha factory in Irwindale, California, which posed the possibility of a Sriracha shortage if the factory were to be shut down. And it was, temporarily. After courting the industry vigorously, the city received complaints about smells and air quality after the factory began production.
One part of the story that’s making the news now is the experiment the the South Coast Air Quality Management District did to simulate conditions during pepper-grinding at the factory. Although it wasn’t pepper-grinding season, and they didn’t have the same peppers, equipment, or procedures as Huy Fong Foods, the researchers found that pepper particles filled the air during the process. What they did was grind three pounds of jalapeño peppers using a manual grinder and a food processor in a kitchen.
The ridiculousness of this shouldn't be ignored: South Coast AQMD measured particle levels in a random kitchen after grinding peppers in a completely different way than Huy Fong Foods does. The group did it on a tiny scale, with none of the filtration systems that are common in factory-level food production. Its researchers measured particle matter right next to the blender; presumably the residents who were allegedly smelling this stuff were not living inside the factory.
But it all worked out in the end, when Huy Fong Foods and the city worked out their differences, and production of Sriracha continues. Read more about the experiment at Motherboard. -via Digg
(Image credit: City of Irwindale)