What makes Casa de Mesquite’s mesquite flour so special? Our manufacturing process. Posted on 13 May 06:33 , 0 comments
We have spent over 20 years developing a proprietary milling process with our growing partners in Argentina that allows Casa de Mesquite to provide our customers with a mesquite flour that has the richest flavor and aroma (2 times more concentrated than competitors products) available in the market. Our milling process also ensures our mesquite flour maintains the highest levels of food safety possible and improves stability and shelf life. Just as the indigenous people did hundreds of years ago, we never use the seeds or outer pod skin in our flour, only the inner pulp.
Flavor and aroma advantages of Casa de Mesquite’s flour made only from mesquite pulp.
The picture below (units in cm) shows the mesquite pulp (mesocarp) which is key to our products rich flavor. The mesocarp contains all of the natural sugar and the more than 100 volatile oils that gave our mesquite flour its wonderful chocolate and cinnamon flavor notes and aroma. Amazingly, it takes 100 lbs. of pods to produce just 45 lbs. of our mesquite flour. Compared to competitive mesquite flours available on the market, that grind the entire mesquite pods to make their flour, Casa de Mesquite’s flour contains a twofold concentration of the key flavor and aroma compounds.
After selecting the highest quality pods available, our technology separates the leathery fibrous capsule and the small hard seeds from the mesocarp exclusively used to make our flour. The end result is a mesquite flour that contains 50-60% natural unrefined sugar and tastes amazing! By comparison, mesquite flour made from the whole pods only contains 25- 35% sugar.
While removing the seeds has significant impact on increasing the wonderful flavor and aroma of our flour, it only decreases the protein content by about 2% as the seeds only make up about 10% (by weight) of the pods. Mesquite flour made from the whole pods including the seeds typically contains about 10% protein while our flour typically contains about 8% protein. This means you get twice the flavor without almost no loss in the content of protein.
It’s not just us here at Casa de Mesquite that think using only the mesocarp makes the highest quality mesquite flour possible. Here’s what the experts have to say…
Dr Gary Takeoka of the USDA in Albany, California measured more than 100 aroma volatiles in three commercial samples of mesquite flour. Two of the flour samples, one from Argentina, produced by Casa de Mesquite, and one from Peru, produced by the Universidad de Piura, consisted of just the pulpy mesocarp. The third flour sample, from Arizona, was made of the whole ground pod.
Dr. Takeoka found a new compound called propyl pyranone that was the most important flavor/aroma compound with a coconut peppermint like aroma. He also found a volatile known as hexanal which is the primary indicator of rancidity, primarily found in the seed oil. In the figure below, both of the flours made from only the mesocarp had very high desirable levels of the propyl pyranone and extremely low level of the rancidity compound hexanal. In contrast, the flour made from the whole ground pods contained very low levels of the flavor compound pyranone and had very high levels of the marker compound indicating rancidity, hexanal. The high levels of the hexanal compound are probably due to oils from the ground seeds contained in the flour made from the entire pod.
Food safety advantages of flour made only from mesquite pulp.
All legume seeds are infected by seed weevils and mesquite pods, that is heavily attacked by seed weevils known as bruchids, is no exception. Clearly visible holes in the mesquite pods are sure signs of bruchid infestation as seen in the below pictures of mesquite pods collected in Peru and Arizona.
Peruvian mesquite pod infected with Bruchid seed weevils
Arizona mesquite pod infected with Bruchid seed weevils
The insect first lays her eggs on the outside of the pod,
which then hatches and burrows through the spongy aromatic, sugar filled pulp of the pod through a leathery capsule known as the endocarp to infect the seed.
The weevil consumes the entire content of the seed, and may exit through the same hole it entered.
The infection process often begins when the pods are still on the tree and in several weeks can infect the majority of fallen pods with several developing larvae per pod. If the entire pods are milled, the live and dead insects will be milled into the flour as well.
This is why Casa de Mesquite has worked hand in hand with our growing partners to ensure our mesquite pods are harvested before weevil infestation occurs. This harvesting practice, together with our proprietary milling and separation process, and strict QC testing on every lot of mesquite flour ensure the quality and safety of our product.
Because we make our flour exclusively from the mesocarp, eliminating the seeds, leathery endocarp portions, we believe our mesquite flour is the finest, sweeter and most flavorful mesquite flour on the market.
Our harvesting and milling process also results in the purest and cleanest mesquite flour available and eliminates contamination of the flour with dead insect remains which can occur in flours made from the whole pod.
While our process takes more time, involves more steps, and increases cost, we think it’s worth it to produces the highest quality possible for our customers!
Because our flour contains twice the natural sugar, aroma, and flavor of whole pod flours, in many cases our customers find they can use about half the amount of Casa de Mesquite flour in their recipes and still get the same great flavor and aroma thus saving them significant money.
We at Casa de Mesquite believe that the only way to make mesquite flour is to follow the traditional method of using only the mesocarp coupled with modern harvesting, manufacturing, and food safety methods to ensure the best quality possible. Our top priority is satisfied consumers that trust our product and continue to use our mesquite flour for years to come.