Also known as Cayenne pepper, chilies, Guinea pepper. Spanish pepper, etc. Used in sauces, pickles, etc. Subject to a natural loss in weight due to drying out. If not properly dried out at the time of bagging, the chilies are liable to go moldy and, if packed tightly, to generate heat. This is aggravated by high humidity while awaiting shipment. Fresh water damage causes moldiness and blackening of chilies, which also tend to clog into lumps, making it relatively easy to separate the damaged portion from the sound. Chilies are very liable to rat infestation, which necessitates reconditioning through a plant to render them fit for human consumption. In stowage they require good ventilation as they give off a pungent smell. See also PEPPER and SPICES.
Capsicums, which are often called chili peppers or hot peppers and may be dried or pickled in vinegar, are the fully ripened, bright red, long and variably sized fruits (length: 5 - 12 cm; diameter up to 5 cm) of Capsicum annuum, which is a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Capsicums (native to South America) which are used as a spice are generally dried and usually finely ground in the importing country, with the hotness of the powder being determined by the proportion of seeds and partitions added.
The berry fruits of the capsicum are smaller and narrower than those of the sweet pepper and are somewhat bent with a pointed tip to the pod. As with chili pods, the distinctly hot flavor is due to the alkaloid capsaicin which is primarily present in the partitions inside the pod and in the seeds.
Oil content: 10.0 - 13.0% essential oils of which 0.15 - 0.50% capsaicin. See also IMDG Code & US CFR.
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