The quality and safety of pepper (Piper nigrum L.) are a function of crop management practices, harvest maturity, harvesting methods and subsequent handling after harvest, including storage conditions and processing methods. The review shows that volatile oil decreases with shade intensity (15–30%). Essential oil, oleoresin, piperine and monoterpenes (thujene, α-pinene, sabinene, limonene, α-phellandrene and linalool) increase with altitude, while β-caryophyllene and total phenol decrease with increase in altitude. Fermentation of ripe pepper fruits forms odorants (butanoic acid, 3-methylindole, and 4-methylphenol) attributing intense faecal/shed-like off-flavour white pepper powder. Low-drying temperature (≤56°C) and duration (≤3 hrs) lead to low bulk density (0.17 g/ml) and low moisture loss (31%). Excessive soaking of black peppercorns prior to mechanical decortication reduces volatile oil and increases moisture content and broken berries. Availability of heavy metals in grinding machines increases the level of heavy metals; Fe (69.8–1147 mg/kg), Pb (21.3–947 μg/kg) and V (64.1–1072 μg/kg) in pepper powder. Storing peppercorns along with other materials enhances cross-contamination of heavy metals; Pb, Cd and Cr. High moisture content (>13%) and farmers’ unawareness resulted in high (2200 to >30000 cfu/g) mycotoxins contamination. Environmental and industrial pollutants such as plasticizers, bisphenol A, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides are also pepper contaminants of high merit. Radiofrequency pasteurization, vacuum-assisted steaming, ethylene oxide fumigation, atmospheric pressure plasma, dry heat sterilization, gamma-irradiation and ultraviolet-C light treatments are among strategies to enhance the quality and safety of pepper. More precautions also have to be taken to regulate the shade, drying temperature and duration, soaking duration, hygienic processing and storage in order to retain quality, minimize the risk of microbial or chemical contaminations and comply with standards.
Keywords: pepper, preharvest, harvesting, postharvest, quality, safety, standards
Shango, A., Mkojera, B , Majubwa, R , Mamiro, D & Maerere, A (2021). Pre- and Postharvest Factors Affecting Quality and Safety of Pepper (Piper nigrum L.). Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/pre-and-postharvest-factors-affecting-quality-and-safety-of-pepper-piper-nigrum-l
Shango, Abdul, et. al. "Pre- and Postharvest Factors Affecting Quality and Safety of Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)" Afribary. Afribary, 21 Nov. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/pre-and-postharvest-factors-affecting-quality-and-safety-of-pepper-piper-nigrum-l. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.
Shango, Abdul, Beatha Mkojera , Ramadhani Majubwa , Delphina Mamiro and Amon Maerere . "Pre- and Postharvest Factors Affecting Quality and Safety of Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)". Afribary, Afribary, 21 Nov. 2021. Web. 28 Nov. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/pre-and-postharvest-factors-affecting-quality-and-safety-of-pepper-piper-nigrum-l >.
Shango, Abdul, Beatha Mkojera , Ramadhani Majubwa , Delphina Mamiro and Amon Maerere . "Pre- and Postharvest Factors Affecting Quality and Safety of Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)" Afribary (2021). Accessed November 28, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/pre-and-postharvest-factors-affecting-quality-and-safety-of-pepper-piper-nigrum-l