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Piper borbonense, a wild pepper from Reunion Island: Characterization, impact of processes on quality and valorization

Weil M.. 2017. In : IC-BioHealF 2017 : livre des résumés. Saint-Denis : Université de la Réunion, p. 29. International Conference on Biodiversity Health and Food (IC-BioHealF 2017), 2017-12-14/2017-12-16, Saint-Denis (Réunion).

The objective of this research project was to acquire new knowledge on the characteristics of Malagasy and Reunion wild peppers and to study the impact of transformation processes on their quality, evaluated through pungency, aroma and color. The challenge was to be able to propose, thanks to the results obtained, one or more revisited transformation processes to valorize the quality of these peppers. Two distinct transformation processes were identified in Madagascar: a "dry process" consisting of simple drying and a "wet process" including blanching and steaming before drying. Piper borbonense of Réunion Island can be distinguished from Piper nigrum according to its very low content of piperine (0.2% bs), its high content of essential oil (9.8% bs), the presence of a pedicel and an ovoid shape. Piper borbonense can also be differentiated from Malagasy wild peppers as its piperine content is twice lower. Blanching, sweating and drying have little impact on the pungency and aroma but significantly degrade the red color of the pepper. Rather than a single universal process, a "dry way" (direct drying) and a "wet way" (integrating blanching and drying) are proposed to transform and valorize the quality of these peppers.

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