Post-harvest handling and processing of Capsicums

2015 | Comments Off

The genus Capsicum encompasses a number of species differing in size, shape, colour and pungency. Due to these differences some of them are used as vegetables, while most others are valued as condiments and culinary supplements. The post-harvest handling and processing technologies for Capsicum have developed considerably as a consequence of the increased production and newer applications of this crop. Bell peppers and a sizable quantity of chillies are consumed fresh and their harvesting indices and scientific handling protocols have been standardized. Chillies and paprika are initially dried and stored in preparation for processing. The accumulated scientific evidence shows the role of various processing factors on the quality of the processed products like chilli powder, oleoresin and colour extract. In keeping with this knowledge, process parameters have been modified to develop new technologies for obtaining superior products. The emergence of the industrial food processing sector along with newer food applications requiring tailor-made ingredients have also introduced more stringent demands for Capsicum products. R&D and the industry are poised to face the challenges. Tropical South America is believed to Read more [...]

Processing of Capsicums

2015 | Comments Off

Standardization, grading and storage of dry chillies The Bureau of Indian Standards has outlined specified standards for dried chillies based on physical characteristics, as well as on other factors such as total ash, acid insoluble ash, non-volatile ether extract and fibre content. Under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (1954), minimum purity standards are laid down for chillies. Agmark specifications for the grading of dry chillies for export takes into account various physical, chemical, sensory and microbiological parameters (). Microbial and insect infestations are serious problems during the storage of dried Capsicum. Ethylene oxide fumigation in bulk is recognized as the best treatment to achieve practical commercial sterility (). Methyl bromide and phosphene are used as fumigants for insect control. Ionizing radiation with a dosage of 10 kGy has been shown to destroy both microorganisms and insects. A dosage of 7.5 kGy has been shown to be sufficient for eliminating fungal populations, and oleoresin yields have increased from 24.45 % to 31.61% by irradiation due to the enhanced extractibility (). As mentioned earlier, a large number of products are produced from chilli and paprika. The raw material Read more [...]

Current Requirements on Paprika Powder for Food Industry

2015 | Comments Off

Paprika powder is one of the most important spices surpassed by only the original pepper. Seventy per cent of the spice is used for industrial purposes, and in meat products, soups, sauces and snacks. The traditional quality attributes are taste, pungency, colour intensity and stability. Due to increasing safety requirements in food processing techniques, additional attributes like microbial status and the possible occurrence of mycotoxins are gaining importance. The modern strategies in agricultural and food technological production are guided by the "field to fork", idea. Therefore, considerations about paprika quality have to be extended to include horticultural aspects. The genus Capsicum belongs to the Solanaceae and comprises five domesticated species: C. annuum, C. frutescens, C. chinense, C. baccatum and C. pubescens. However, only members of the first three species are of industrial significance. The main distinctive features of the genus are the size of the fruits, the thickness of the fruit flesh, shape, colour and the pungency. Capsicum fruits are known by a considerable number of names, such as Capsicums, peppers, Spanish pepper, Cayenne pepper, chile, chillies and paprika. All names, including the Read more [...]

Industrial Processing and Products of Black Pepper

2015 | Comments Off

Pepper, before being made available for human consumption, have to go through several processing steps. The initial processing (onfarm processing) like removing the fruits from the stalk and sun drying them, etc. are done in a decentralised way in the farms. Although the process is very simple many factors like maturity play an important role in the appearance and colour of the final product. Dipping the despiked fruits in boiling water for a minute prior to drying produces pepper with uniform black colour. During the sun drying operation it is very important to turn over the material periodically for uniform drying. Otherwise a poor product with greyish, unattractive appearance and heavy mould growth could result. At plantation level, the sun drying operation is being replaced by artificial drying. The specifications for pepper have been made more stringent, incorporating maximum tolerance level for various extraneous matters and this made it essential to go in for machine processing for cleaning and drying of pepper. In modern spice processing plants, pepper which has been dried at the farm level and graded to different standards, further undergoes processing before being sent for human consumption. The dried Read more [...]

Value Added Products of Black Pepper

2015 | Comments Off

Green Pepper Products Dehydrated green pepper This product is prepared from immature green pepper fruits of suitable varieties by processing under controlled conditions. The fruits should be reasonably uniform in size having characteristic pungency, flavour and colour of green pepper. Pepper fruits are blanched in boiling water for a few minutes, drained, cooled and then soaked in sulphur dioxide solution to fix the green colour followed by drying in a cabinet drier at 50°C. Upon rehydration, this product will reconstitute to a good quality product possessing the characteristic pungent, spicy taste, colour and flavour of green pepper, when one part by mass of dehydrated green pepper is cooked for 20 minutes in presence of ten parts by mass of 1 per cent sodium chloride solution. To conform to international standards (ISO/DIS 10621, 1996), the product should have a moisture content of less than 8 per cent. Efforts are underway at various research institutions () to find an alternative for sulphur dioxide which is being phased out due to health hazards. Canned green pepper There has been lot of demand for canned green pepper. The pepper fruits after the removal from the spikes are washed in running water and are Read more [...]

Products of Black Pepper: Oleoresin

2015 | Comments Off

Oleoresin represents the total pungency and flavour constituents of pepper obtained by the extraction of ground pepper using solvents like ethanol, acetone, ethylene dichloride, ethyl acetate etc. Oleoresin offers considerable advantages over whole or ground spices in that they are uniform in composition as well as strength. Contaminants like mould and fungus are absent in the oleoresin and hence can be directly added to any food material after adjusting the flavour concentration. The extractives are usually made available in both oil soluble and water dispersible forms and also in dry forms of the extractives. The process for the recovery of the flavour constituents involves size reduction prior to solvent extraction which is done in stainless steel extractors. At present oleoresins are recovered by a single stage or a two stage process. In the single stage process the oil is recovered along with the resins by solvent extraction whereas in the two stage process the ground pepper is first subjected to steam distillation for the recovery of the essential oil followed by drying and powdering the oil extracted spice before solvent extraction. The extract obtained in the two stage process is blended with the oil recovered Read more [...]

Sterilization of Pepper

2015 | Comments Off

In order to ensure high quality and freedom from microbial contamination, cleaned and dried pepper is subjected to sterilization. For this, several methods are available including hydrostatic/pressure sterilization, ozone sterilization, compressed carbon dioxide treatment, irradiation, microwave heating, alcohol vapour treatment, extrusion, steam treatment and fumigation. Hot Air/Steam Sterilization The spice is preheated to a temperature of 50–55°C and then sterilised by a combination of indirect heating and direct steam injection. It was found that the total counts, yeast, moulds, coliform counts etc. were considerably reduced. The sensory quality as well as volatile oil content remained unaffected (). Another process involves exposure to elevated pressures and temperatures for a predetermined time in a series of chambers. The material to be sterilised is placed in the first chamber and pressurised, then transferred to subsequent chambers and exposed to respective sterilization regimes for set times. The sterilised material is subsequently depressurised in a chamber (). A modified steam sterilization process consists of steam jacketed pressurised vessel with three temperature envelopes (50, 100 or 120°C) Read more [...]

Production of Biennial Caraway for Seed and Essential Oil

2015 | Comments Off

Growing areas Caraway (Carum carvi L.) occurs as wild plant within phytocoenoses of meadow type, usually in a humid coastal or mountain climate (). Such ecological conditions should be taken into account in the choice of region for caraway cultivation, and also to a certain degree, in the choice of soil type and a sequence in crop rotation. In Europe, where this species has been widely grown for over 200 years, caraway was and usually still is produced in coastal regions of the Netherlands, Germany and Poland as well as in a piedmont of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The second factor that must be considered in caraway cultivation is the character of its development, since it could be either biennial or facultatively perennial crop with a distinct juvenile phase (). Besides, there are some caraway properties typical of a wild plant, that favour its adaptation for the development in natural sites, having however a negative effect on its cultivation. Elimination of such traits is difficult, particularly in relation to non-uniform seed germination, uneven fruit ripening on plants and shattering. Caraway: Soil requirements, sequence in crop rotation and fertilization Caraway: Soil preparation, setting up of a plantation Maintenance Read more [...]

Caraway: Soil requirements, sequence in crop rotation and fertilization

2015 | Comments Off

Caraway as a plant of high soil requirements grows and yields best on deep and warm soils, rich in humus and nutrients. The most suitable are fen soils, loess, chernozem, limestone soils and deep but not too heavy clays (). The best forecrops for caraway are considered root and vegetable plants previously supplied with a full rate of farmyard manure (20–40t/ha). Suitable are also clover, lucerne and other mixed papilionaceous crops. Besides, plants ploughed-in for green manure could also be recommended. In contrast, cereals are considered the least suitable forecrops for caraway. On the other hand caraway itself performs well as a forecrop for cereals, by leaving a field almost weed-free, and above all, due to its early harvesting there is enough time to conduct all pre-sowing agricultural practices, so essential for cereals (). Caraway is highly sensitive to soil water, considering the level of that underground and soil-bound. Too high water table and stagnant water in particular are dangerous especially in spring and may cause mass wilting of the plants. A relatively high, stable soil moisture is necessary for the adequate development of caraway since it originates from wet meadows. According to Buszczak Read more [...]

Caraway: Soil preparation, setting up of a plantation

2015 | Comments Off

A field for caraway should be prepared with special care, considering deep penetration of its roots and also a period of 2 or even 3 years of its cultivation at the same place. Ploughing should be necessarily performed in autumn, since long-time observations provided evidently worse results if it was conducted in spring (). On deep soils there is recommendation to use standard plough provided with a chisel, or a special subsoil cultivator, working askew or across the direction of basic ploughing. In spring, agricultural practices should be carried out as soon as possible to prevent clodding and drying out of the soil top layer, and they include dragging and multiple harrowing. Cultivator is recommended only for very heavy soils, strongly stale after winter. This operation should be immediately followed by harrowing. If the soil is too loose and uneven on the surface, the use of a flat roller is required for precise sowing and to enhance capillary rise of soil moisture, and finally to obtain uniform emergence of caraway seedlings. Caraway sowing material are achenes, whose germination capacity should be at least 80%. This level can be maintained for 2–3 years, then rapidly declines (). The weight of 1000 achenes Read more [...]