TigerPaw, a new habanero pepper developed and released recently by the Agricultural Research Service, is among the spiciest peppers ever developed.
TigerPaw, a new habanero pepper developed and released recently by the Agricultural Research Service, is among the spiciest peppers ever developed.

Faculty members of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have looked into their crystal ball and come up with food trends they see for 2015.

• Fermented foods—Americans continue to develop fondness for fermented foods, including kimchi, sauerkraut, beer, wine and yogurt, according to a news release. In addition to sometimes pungent flavors, these foods also may aid digestive health.

• Junk foods are junked in schools, thanks to Smart Snacks in School standards. Out are foods, such as cookies and chocolate bars. In their place may be light popcorn or a small serving of peanuts.

• Pass the produce please. Students are eating more fruits and vegetables. In Florida, farm-to-school programs link schools to local growers. School food directors also are working with chefs to develop recipes that are easy to prepare, tasty and meet U.S. Department of Agriculture school meal guidelines.

• Hot, hot, hot. New and more intense flavors will become more commonplace. Even items such as smoky flavor-infused alcoholic beverages will gain market momentum.

• Good things come in small packages. UF researchers are working on post-harvest technology and handling practices for smaller-scale operators. For example, hot water treatments can help reduce decay and boost antioxidants in fresh produce.

• Minimalism is in. Smaller portions are being offered at home and in restaurants. By downsizing servings, people may help improve their health.