Our Products

Essential Oils

Organic / Conventional

A distinctive essence

An essential oil is a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile or ethereal oils, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Essential oils do not as a group need to have any specific chemical properties in common, beyond conveying characteristic fragrances. They are not to be confused with essential fatty acids.

Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation. Other processes include expression, or solvent extraction. They are used in perfumes, cosmetics and bath products, for flavoring food and drink, and for scenting incense and household cleaning products.

Various essential oils have been used medicinally at different periods in history. Medical application proposed by those who sell medicinal oils range from skin treatments to remedies for cancer, and are often based on historical use of these oils for these purposes. Such claims are now subject to regulation in most countries, and have grown more vague to stay within these regulations.

Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine which claims that the specific aromas carried by essential oils have curative effects. Oils are volatilized or diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air by a nebulizer or by heating over a candle flame, or burned as incense, for example.

 

Annatto

Organic / Conventional

From exotic foods to ethnomedical uses

Annato (Bixa orellana) is a shrub or small tree from the tropical region of the American continent. The name derives from the Nahuatl word for the shrub, achiotl. It is also known as Aploppas, and its original Tupi name urucu. It is cultivated there and in Southeast Asia, where it was introduced by the Spanish in the 17th century. It is best known as the source of the natural pigment annatto, produced from the fruit. The plant bears pink flowers and bright red spiny fruits which contain red seeds. The fruits dry and harden to brown capsules.

The inedible fruit is harvested for its seeds, which contain annatto, also called bixin. It can be extracted by stirring the seeds in water. It is used to color food products, such as cheeses, fish, and salad oil. Sold as a paste or powder for culinary use, mainly as a color, it is known as "achiote," "annatto," "bijol," or "pimento doce." It is a main ingredient in the Yucatecan spice mixture recado rojo, or "achiote paste." The seeds are ground and used as a subtly flavored and colorful additive in Latin American, Jamaican and Filipino cuisine. Annatto is growing in popularity as a natural alternative to synthetic food coloring compounds. While it has a distinct flavor of its own, it can be used to color and flavor rice instead of the much more expensive saffron. It is an important ingredient of cochinita pibil, the spicy pork dish popular in Mexico. It is also a key ingredient in the drink Tascalate from Chiapas, Mexico.

Ethnomedical uses

The Annato has long been used by American Indians to make body paint, especially for the lips, which is the origin of the plant's nickname, lipstick tree. The use of the dye in the hair by men of the Tsachila of Ecuador is the origin of their usual Spanish name, the Colorados.

Parts of the plant can be used to make medicinal remedies for such conditions as sunstroke, tonsilitis, burns, leprosy, pleurisy, apnoea, rectal discomfort, and headaches.

The sap from fruits is also used to treat type 2 diabetes, and fungal infections.

 
 

Cacao

Conventional

Thousands of years of evolution

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) (Mayan: kakaw, Nahuatl: Cacahuatl), or the cocoa plant, is a small (4 to 8 m or 15 to 26 ft tall) evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae), native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa and chocolate. There are two prominent competing hypotheses about the origins of the original wild Theobroma cacao tree. One is that wild examples were originally distributed from southeastern Mexico to the Amazon basin, with domestication taking place both in the Lacandon area of Mexico and in lowland South America. But recent studies of Theobroma cacao genetics seem to show that the plant originated in the Amazon and was distributed by humans throughout Central America and Mesoamerica.

The tree is today found growing wild in the low foothills of the Andes at elevations of around 200 to 400 m (650 to 1300 ft) in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. It requires a humid climate with regular rainfall and good soil. It is an understory tree, growing best with some overhead shade. The leaves are alternate, entire, unlobed, 10 to 40 cm (4 to 16 in) long and 5 to 20 cm (2 to 8 in) broad. Poisonous and inedible, they are filled with a creamy, milky liquid and taste spicy and unpleasant.

Cacao flowers

The flowers are produced in clusters directly on the trunk and older branches; they are small in diameter, with pink calyx. While many of the world's flowers are pollinated by bees or butterflies/moths, cacao flowers are pollinated by tiny flies, forcipomyia midges in the order Diptera.The fruit, called a cacao pod, is ovoid, ripening yellow to orange, and weighs about 1 pound when ripe. The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called "beans", embedded in a white pulp. Each seed contains a significant amount of fat (40 to 50% as cocoa butter). Their most noted active constituent is theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine.

 

Cardamom

Organic / Conventional

A strong, unique taste

The name "cardamom" is used for herbs within two genera of the ginger family Zingiberaceae, namely Elettaria and Amomum. Both varieties take the form of a small seedpod, triangular in cross section and spindle shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds. Elettaria pods are light green in color, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.

Food and drink

Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more astringent aroma, though not bitter, with a coolness similar to mint, though with a different aroma. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking in Nordic countries, such as in the Finnish sweet bread pulla or in the Scandinavian bread Julekake. Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight but little is needed to impart the flavor. Cardamom is best stored in pod form because once the seeds are exposed or ground they quickly lose their flavor. However, high-quality ground cardamom is often more readily (and cheaply) available and is an acceptable substitute.

For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1.5 teaspoons of ground cardamom.In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Cardamom pods are ground together with coffee beans to produce a powdered mixture of the two, which is boiled with water to make coffee. Cardamom is also used in some extent in savoury dishes. In Arabic, cardamom is called al Hayl.

In some Middle Eastern countries, coffee and cardamom are often ground in a wooden mortar and cooked together in a mihbaz, an oven using wood or gas, to produce mixtures that are as much as forty percent cardamom. In South Asia, green cardamom is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in Masala chai (spiced tea). Black cardamom is sometimes used in garam masala for curries. It is occasionally used as a garnish in basmati rice and other dishes. It is often referred to as fat cardamom due its size (Moti Elaichi). Individual seeds are sometimes chewed, in much the same way as chewing gum. It has also been known to be used for gin making.

 
 

Dried Lime

Conventional

Pioneers in exporting Dried Lime

We are cultivators, processors of approved quality Dried Lime in almost any desired export size.

We are pioneers in exporting Dried Lime from Guatemala at a competitive price. Our product quality confirms to international standard. For further information, don't hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to meet your requirements.

 

Allspice

Organic / Conventional

A unique product from tropical regions

Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, kurundu, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice is a spice which is the dried unripe fruit ("berries") of Pimenta dioica , a mid-canopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world. The name "pepper" was coined as early as 1621 by the English, who thought it combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Several unrelated fragrant shrubs are called "Carolina Pepper" (Calycanthus floridus), "Japanese Pepper" (Chimonathus fragrans) or "Wild Pepper" (Lindera benzoin). Pepper is also sometimes used to refer to the herb Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita).

Ground pepper is not, as some people believe, a mixture of spices. Rather, it is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. The fruit is picked when it is green and unripe and, traditionally, dried in the sun. When dry, the fruits are brown and resemble large brown peppercorns. The whole fruits have a longer shelf life than the powdered product and produce a more aromatic product when freshly ground before use.

The leaves of the pepper plant are also used in island cooking. For cooking, fresh leaves are used where available: they are similar in texture to bay leaves and are thus infused during cooking and then removed before serving. Unlike bay leaves, they lose much flavour when dried and stored and so do not figure in commerce. The leaves and wood are often used for smoking meats where pepper is a local crop. Pepper can also be found in essential oil form.

Pepper is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. It is used in Caribbean jerk seasoning (the wood is used to smoke jerk in Jamaica, although the spice is a good substitute), in mole sauces, and in pickling; it is also an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powders. Pepper is also indispensable in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly in the Levant, where it is used to flavor a variety of stews and meat dishes. In Palestinian cuisine, for example, many main dishes call for pepper as the sole spice added for flavoring. In America, it is used mostly in desserts, but it is also responsible for giving Cincinnati-style chili its distinctive aroma and flavor. Pepper is commonly used in Great Britain and appears in many dishes, including cakes. Even in many countries where pepper is not very popular in the household, such as Germany, it is used in large amounts by commercial sausage makers. Pepper is also a main flavor used in barbecue sauces. In the West Indies, an pepper liqueur called "pimento dram" is produced.

 
 

Ramón (Maya nut)

Organic / Conventional

A true Mayan seed

The breadnut fruit disperses on the ground in March and April and has a large seed covered by a thin, citrus-flavored orange-colored skin favored by a number of forest creatures. More importantly, the large seed which is enveloped by the tasty skin is an edible nut that can be leached and ground into a meal for porridge or flatbread. Ramon is nutritious and has value as a food source, and formed a part of the diet of the pre-Columbian Maya of the lowlands region in Mesoamerica, although to what extent has been a matter of some debate among Maya historians and archaeologists.

It was planted by the Maya civilization two thousand years ago and it has been claimed to have been a staple food in the Maya diet, although other research has downplayed its significance. In the modern era it has been neglected as a source of nutrition and has often been characterized as a famine food.

The breadnut is extremely high in fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, iron, zinc, protein and vitamins A, E, C and B. The fresh seeds can be cooked and eaten or can be set out to dry in the sun to roast and eaten later. Stewed the nut tastes like mashed potato, roasted it tastes like chocolate or coffee and can be prepared in numerous other dishes. In Peten, Guatemala, the breadnut is being cultivated for exportation and local consumption as powder, for hot beverages, and bread.

The tree can reach up to 45.1 meters (130 feet).

The tree lends its name to the Maya archaeological sites of Iximche and Topoxte, both in Guatemala. It is one of the twenty dominant species of the Maya forest. Of the dominant species, it is the only one that is wind-pollinated. It is also found in traditional Maya forest gardens.

 

Vanilla

Conventional

Extensive labor for a unique taste

Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. Etymologically, vanilla derives from the Spanish word vainilla, little pod. Originally cultivated by Pre Columbian Mesoamerican people, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes is credited with introducing both the spice and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. Attempts to cultivate the vanilla plant outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the tlilxochitl vine that produced the vanilla orchid and the local species of Melipona bee; it was not until 1837 that Belgian botanist Charles Francois Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant. Unfortunately, the method proved financially unworkable and was not deployed commercially. In 1841, a 12 year old French owned slave by the name of Edmond Albius, who lived on Ile Bourbon, discovered the plant could be hand pollinated, allowing global cultivation of the plant.

There are currently three major cultivars of vanilla grown globally, all derived from a species originally found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern day Mexico. The various subspecies are Vanilla planifolia (syn. V. fragrans), grown on Madagascar, Reunion and other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean; V. tahitensis, grown in the South Pacific; and V. pompona, found in the West Indies, Central and South America. The majority of the world's vanilla is the V. planifolia variety, more commonly known as Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, which is produced in a small region of Madagascar and in Indonesia.

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, due to the extensive labor required to grow the vanilla seed pods. Despite the expense, it is highly valued for its flavor, described as pure, spicy, and delicate and its complex floral aroma depicted as a peculiar bouquetDespite its high cost, vanilla is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture and aromatherapy.