A symposium titled "Chemistry and Flavor of Hispanic Foods" was presented at the Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego in 2005, resulting in an ACS Symposium Series Book, Hispanic Foods: Chemistry and Flavor. The success of that symposium and book, along with the continued popularity of and research into Hispanic foods, prompted the revisiting of the topic at the ACS meeting in San Diego on March 25-29, 2012, with another "Hispanic Foods" symposium. The presenters, some of whom authored chapters in the first book, kindly contributed to the present volume, Hispanic Foods: Chemistry and Bioactive Compounds. As before, the symposium was sponsored by the ACS Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Inc. (AGFD), which is in the forefront in the dissemination of knowledge about food chemistry. This book includes more on chemistry of Hispanic foods, with an emphasis on compounds that may affect biological processes in humans. Following opening chapters on marketing of these foods in the U.S. and on Queso Fresco, the rest of the chapters discuss the presence and importance of bioactive compounds present in them.
The long-term goal is to improve the quality of life through a better nutrition, including in the diet foods, with compounds that will improve human health. The book closes with two chapters on beverages and their importance in the Hispanic diet. The Hispanic population is increasing in the United States, and the opportunities for producers to provide tasty, nutritious foods to consumers are endless. The presence of compounds with biological properties that go beyond nutrition and reduce the risk of chronic diseases are very attractive for consumers and for the food industry.