The main ingredients in Sriracha hot sauce are red jalapeno peppers, garlic, sugar, salt and distilled vinegar. Other ingredients in include potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite and xanthan gum.
The red jalapenos used in Sriracha hot sauce are a more mature version of the standard green jalapeno. Red jalapenos have a higher rating on the Scoville heat index compared to younger green jalapenos, ranging up to 8,000 Scoville units, due to higher levels of capsaicin. Garlic, sugar, salt and distilled vinegar provide additional flavor and balance to the recipe to make the sauce taste good rather than simply being hot. Potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfate each act as preservatives, while xanthan gum helps maintain the sauce's thickness.