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EFFECTS OF DRYING PROCEDURE, CULTIVAR, AND HARVEST NUMBER ON CAPSAICIN LEVELS IN DRIED JALAPEÑO PEPPERS
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 20(1): 35-38. (doi: 10.13031/2013.15677) @2004
Authors: L. O. Pordesimo, H. Li, J. H. Lee, B. B. Reddick
Keywords: Hot peppers, Jalapeno, Capsaicin, Capaicinoid, Drying, Processing, Yields
An issue that needs to be addressed is how to harvest and process peppers in order to obtain the highest capsaicin
extraction for use in non-food applications. This study was undertaken to investigate this issue using jalapeo peppers as
the test material. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of cultivar, fruit color, harvest sequence, and drying
parameters (pod physical state, drying air temperature) on the capsaicin levels.
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Observations on jalapeo peppers planted in 2000 in East Tennessee revealed that the greatest harvest weight of pods
occurred just after the first harvest of the season. Concentration of total capsaicinoids in fresh jalapeo peppers did not
significantly change over progressive harvests and there was no difference in total capsaicinoid concentration between green
and red fresh peppers. These findings indicate that there is no need to sort fresh peppers by color in order to optimize
processing for capsaicin extraction.
Drying temperatures tested, ranging from ambient (~27.C) to 85.C, did not affect the concentration of total capsaicinoids
in dried jalapeo peppers. It is possible that higher temperatures can be used without affecting capsaicin levels; however,
the limit was not determined in this study. Drying effectively concentrated capsaicinoids in the dried product by almost
15 times the level in fresh peppers. Physical state of the peppers when dried (whole or cut) did not affect concentration of
capsaicinoids within the temperature range tested. If drying is to be part of any extraction process, then fast drying can be
accomplished to reduce costs by using higher temperatures (within limits) and slicing the peppers for enhanced moisture
transfer rates. If slicing is to be accomplished, care should be given to retaining the pepper seeds.