Drying of Black Pepper


Importance of drying The first drying is accomplished in order to reduce the moisture content of the raw material and to darken the fruits. The decreased activity of the water within the fruits is important for their conservation during transportation, as well as until they are properly processed.

Method of drying

After harvesting, the bunches taken to dry in boards in the sun or properly fenced terrain. During the drying process, the dry fruits get loose from the axis of the bunches. The pepper must be revolved in order to obtain an uniform drying. Those bunches axes that are mixed with the product may be removed with a small wooden scraper. The care should be taken to avoid the pepper to become wet by the rain or condensation.

Cleaning and Grading The cleaning consists of removing wood chips, leaves, rotten fruits and other impurities that might prejudice the quality of the product, and mainly stones and metal pieces that could damage the equipment. This is a very important procedure that will guarantee the quality of the product.

As higher is the purity degree level of the grains as higher will be their selling value. When selecting the raw material, however, the objective is to discard those grains that are inappropriate for processing and consumption. Besides, it is possible to separate the grains with adequate size and shape in order to be sold in whole. The defective grains, can be consumed under the triturated form. The removal of the impurities, inappropriate and defective grains are possible due to the differences in mass, shapes, size and colors.

The cleaning and selection can be accomplished by equipments consisting of vibratory sieves, ventilation systems and color-based classification.

References http://www.fao.org/inpho/content/fpt/SPICES/harvBP.htm