It is clear that Americans love chile peppers in their foods. No longer restricted to wildly popular Hispanic foods, chile peppers can be found in a variety of mainstream items, such as condiments, dips, sauces, soups, appetizers, entrées, and even chocolate and dessert items.

“Mexican chiles, such as chipotle and arbol roasted flakes, are experiencing the most growth in the U.S.,” states Roberto Espinoza, CEO, of PIVEG Inc., a Guanajuato, Mexico-based global company. PIVEG Inc. distributes chile products to the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The chipotle chile flavor continues to shine and is fashionable with restaurant chains, as it is prominently featured in burgers, chicken, beef and other ethnic dishes. “As much as one-fifth of the Mexican jalapeño crop is processed as chipotles. Chipotle chile peppers are smoked jalapeños with a medium pungency, which adds to its distinctive sweet taste. Chipotle is widely used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking,” says Rosemarie Aviles, area sales manager. Other chiles that have gained some ground are guajillos and pasillas, which are used in Hispanic foods such as tamales, moles and tacos.

PIVEG chiles are authentic, Mexican chiles that help to “showcase the real flavors of Mexico through our selection of chiles,” says Espinoza. “This trend will continue to grow as the differences in the distinct flavors of different chiles become more apparent to the American palate, and the food industry starts to recognize the unique opportunities that different chiles provide.”

A Consistent, Reliable Product

Due to labor shortages and limited culinary training, foodservice operators need products that are easy to use, consistently good and safe. Using the chile in its original pod form is inconvenient and time-consuming, so PIVEG’s dried chile flakes and powders make including them in sauces, marinades, salsas, moles, dry rubs and other foods easy. “Our processed chiles take up less space, reduce shipping costs and spare kitchen help from the roasting process,” says Espinoza. “By using dried chiles, chefs can concentrate on creating good food with mild to hot flavor profiles that cut down labor costs. Our products assist in the creative side of culinary arts.”

The peppers also are available as finely granulated powders, in varieties such as chiles with salt, lemon, pineapple, orange, mango and tamarind flavors that can be used in applications such as jellies, candies, snacks, fruit and bakery items. Chile flakes are used to enhance texture and presentation featured in foods, such as enchiladas and marinades, and to top pizzas. Due to PIVEG’s rigid quality control standard, the products are reliably consistent in the areas of odor, taste, color and pungency.

Operators may be interested in using the company’s R&D lab services, which can develop new chile flavors or match a company’s existing formulas, among other services. At the recent IFT show, most “suppliers were looking for authentic chiles harvested in Mexico [as opposed to imports from certain other areas]. Also, they were very interested in PIVEG’s expertise in using chiles in unique ways. New product flavor profiles to include tropical, salt and pepper blends were introduced in the line of flavored films. [See sidebar.] They are looking for guaranteed supply at a good price,” observes Aviles. The company’s analytical and microbiological departments, in combination with GMPs, ISO 9002, HACCP and the state of California’s Proposition 65 lead-free certifications, help PIVEG reach these important goals. 
--Julia M. Gallo-Torres, Managing Editor

For more information:

PIVEG Inc. • Guanajuato, Mexico
Rosemarie Aviles • 858-688-4412 (in the U.S.) •

SIDEBAR: Gelatin Films

A line of gelatin and gum films allows manufacturers to impart concentrated flavors into sheets, strips or ground “sparkles,” something unique to the food industry. (Ground sparkles can be created to give color, flavor and texture to any food mixture. An example is sweetened, colored apple sugar crystal blends for bar drinks such as martinis, explains Aviles.) The strips, manufactured by PIVEG Inc., also are useful for the functional food industry, where ingredients such as caffeine, vitamin mixes and blends, and energy ingredients can be incorporated for manufacture or used just as stand-alone products.

Explains Aviles, “The manufacturer can eliminate the need for blending and weighing spice mixtures and also save on shipping costs, storage and handling refrigerated or canned items…The result is a dry storage item that is concentrated and requires a smaller footprint in storage.”