Drying pepper

Bell pepper drying equipment

The drying of the bell pepper is done in several stages. The first is preparative stage. Pepper is washed and goes through an inspection. Damaged, rotten and low-quality pepper is removed. Further, it is necessary to extract the core with a tail, preferably without damaging the integrity of the pepper itself. Then the pepper is cut into slices, cubes or straws, depending on the objective. Finally, the prepared, sliced product can be sent to the drying chamber. The drying chamber can be of a cabinet or conveyor type, depending on the required capacity. In the infrared drying chamber, the pepper is dried for 1.5 hours at a temperature of about 50 degrees. The electricity expenses are minimal as infrared technology allows one to spend up to 1 kW on evaporating of 1 liter of water. For comparison, the pepper drying with the help of the convection technology (for example, familiar to many household camera Isidri) will take 23 hours and 2 kW to evaporate one liter of moisture. Those are 15 times longer and twice as expensive if consider only the electricity expenses.
Extract from the article.

(The pepper has been drying for 23 hours at the temperature of 50 degrees in the Ezidri Ultra drying machine on 15 trays. During this time, the drying machine has consumed 14 kW of electricity. It turned out 670 grams of dried product from 7.6 kg of the fresh pepper. Exsiccation in 11 times.)

The outcome of the dry product will be the same if dried with the help of any equipment, any technology as well as with the help of the sun drying. Unlike, the energy costs and quality depend very much on the drying technology. Obviously, for the household use, electricity costs are not as important as for the industrial processing in large volumes. In addition to the conservative drying process, the quality of the final product is also of great importance. Here the drying time plays a key role, as there are processes of degradation and loss of useful properties in the sliced and heated to 50 degrees pepper until its complete drying. Thus, with these processes lasting only for an hour and a half, instead of 20-25 hours, the dried product’s outcome can be much better. Therefore, the producers of the dried vegetables working with convectional chambers are forced to raise the drying temperature to 80-90 degrees in order to reduce the drying time at least to 5-6 hours, but at the expense of quality. Thus, the dried pepper like any other vegetables and fruits have the nutritional value, which is no more than the ones of the ordinary hay. As a rule, they have a dull and unsightly appearance, which is tried to be correct with the help of different dyes. Conclusions: Based on all the above-mentioned, IR technology makes it possible to quickly and evenly remove the moisture from the product, making energy expenditures minimal, and obtain a high-quality product with high nutritional values.

In order to reduce the energy expenses for moisture removal, our company has developed the IR drying equipment with the use of the solid fuel boiler. In these drying chambers, the energy value of any solid fuel transfers to the infrared one with the help of the emitting elements.

The color of the bell pepper

The pepper may be red, yellow, orange, green, violet and, rarely, almost black. Which one is more preferable? Green pepper is not ripe, that’s why its taste may be tart, even with a small bitterness. Green pepper is not very suitable for making the vegetable stew as after cooking it may be slightly bitter. The green pepper contains the greatest amount of phytosterols, which reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the human blood. In addition, it is less caloric than the other colored peppers.

Red pepper is sweeter than other sorts. Moreover, red pepper contains the biggest number of vitamins C. A pepper becomes red due to the great amount of carotin and lycopene in it.
Orange pepper contains less C elements than the red pepper does.

Yellow pepper has a lot of carotinoids, which gives it the yellow color. In addition, yellow paper has more potassium in comparison with the other colors of the bell pepper. It is recommended for those who have heart problems. The content of phosphorus (for bones, kidneys and cell growth) is also higher in the yellow pepper than in the other colors.

Dark purple pepper and very black one have the same taste as the green pepper has. It is healthier to eat fresh peppers since they turn green when fried or braised.
Almost black pepper is not the black, but real pepper that grows in India and other warm countries, and using which very piquant spices are prepared (spices are also made from white pepper).
Peppers of any colors may be used for consumption being fresh or cut for salads.
Contents of the bell pepper
100 gr of bell pepper contain 20 calories, cholesterol 0 mg, vitamin C 80 mg (maximum up to 500 mg), carbohydrates (capsaicin, sugar 2,4 g.) 4,6 gr, proteins 0,9 gr, carotene 14 mg, calcium 10 mg, vitamins Р, В1, В2, ethereal (1, 5%) fats 0,2 gr (fatty oil in seeds up to 10%). It is worth saying that vitamins themselves are not a source of energy for our body. Their only functions are to regulate our metabolism, participate in various chemical processes of the body, thereby allowing it to function properly and, thus, be less affected by illnesses. Moreover, vitamins can be water-soluble (vitamin C, and all the vitamins of group B) and fat-soluble (these are A, E, D, K). There is plenty of information about vitamins in the Internet.
Let’s pay more attention to the vitamin C, since the bell pepper contains it in a considerable amount. The C element takes part in the processes of skin breathing, exchanging proteins blocks, consuming carbohydrates. “C” is also called ascorbic acid or antiscorbutic vitamin. Ascorbic acid increases the immunity of the organism, it saves collagen – the protein, which is the basis of the connective tissue (strengthens blood vessels, human tendons). “C” normalizes cholesterol in our blood, helps to assimilate the iron to the body and, therefore, brings the blood in order. Plus, it helps the body to produce adrenaline. So, the average person needs from 30 mg (infants) to about 110 mg (pregnant women, they have a vitamin C deficiency of about 65% in the pregnancy period).

So, how much useful “C” is there in various products? In the first place goes the dog rose, which has about 470 mg of vitamin C (up to 1200 mg in the dry form). Nevertheless, the honorable second place takes “our” favorite bell pepper with 250 mg. Then, the black currant and the sea-buckthorn with 200 mg go. They are followed by the other products, such as lemon, parsley, dried ceps, brussel sprouts, fennel, wild leek, red garden ash, etc. The amount is indicated based on the 100 grams of vegetables. Please, note that the red bell pepper contains more vitamin C than the green one. More vitamin C can be found in seeds and next to the peduncle.

To sum up, consuming natural products is far better than consuming various advertised dietary supplements. However, products (including the bell pepper) are more useful if consumed fresh since there is more vitamin C than thermally processed .
What is the best way to preserve vitamin C in the bell pepper? The main enemy is oxygen; after heat treatment it is necessary to reduce the access of oxygen – to close the tops. Fat also prevents oxygen from entering inside the product. Moreover, the product should be cooked for a short period of time. Try to cook the whole pepper without cutting it since when the fetus is cut, the oxygen starts to actively destroy the vitamins. One more remark: vitamins may be more ruined in an alkaline and neutral environment than in an acidic one. A pepper in sour cabbage or apples maintains vitamin C better. In addition, do not hold a pepper in water for a long time as water is known to be the enemy of the vitamin as well. The last but not the least enemy, which I forgot to mention, is smoking. Smoking requires additional consumption of vitamin C, so that the body could maintain it in the normal amount.
In conclusion, eating at least one red bell pepper a day, one can keep a sufficient level of vitamin C in the body.