Sichuan pepper(Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim) is a commonly used spice in Chinese cuisine. It is derived from at least two species of the global genus Zanthoxylum, including Z. simulans and Z. bungeanum.Its unique aroma and flavour is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth that sets the stage for hot spices.
Generally, it takes 6-10 days to dry the ripe pepper in the sun after harvest period. If there is a continuous overcast rain in the picking season, fresh pepper cannot be drying in time, it is easy to deteriorate.
Now, a novel drying Sichuan pepper technology is coming. Heat pump drying machine can keep well the Sichuan pepper original color and flavor with little power consumption.
Heat pump dryer, both operated with open-loop or closed-loop air circulation, all are basis on substantial absorbed heat from ambient or the exhaust humidity air, and then release to heat the drying air again. Only compressor consume a few power, obviously, energy saving is available.
In the Sichuan Pepper drying process, the temperature cannot be too high and cannot be turn over,
otherwise, it will cause the oil cell of peel to rupture and produce oil, which will seriously affect the quality. Drying time and drying temperature should be controlled in stages
1st, drying time 7hours, Gradually increase the drying temperature which is not more than 50℃, in this period, peel shrinks and begins to crack.
2nd, increase drying temperature to 65℃ till drying process complete.
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