How to add value to chilli pepper
Chilli is a spice that is a good source of nutrients and vitamins that help reduce body cholesterol levels, aid in digestion and relieve body pains.
Some of the chillies varieties grown in Kenya include Cayenne Pepper, Serenade, Jalapeno, Habareno and Bird eye.
They are usually ready to be harvested when red ripe between two and a half to three months after transplanting, where harvesting continues for three to four months.
To increase the shelf life or for further processing, the chilli is dried.
Chilli is value added to make chilli sauce which earns the farmer more returns and has a longer shelf life.
Farmers.co.ke spoke to Jonathan Balozi who shared with us how he adds value to chilli pepper to make chilli sauce for sale.
The farmer first waits for green chilli on the farm to turn red before harvesting then completely drying it.
The farmer then proceeds to mill it.
To add more flavour, a concentrate is made then mixed with other ingredients such as tomatoes, spices like clove powder, garlic, onion and then added with sugar and salt.
The mixture is then heated while stirring to add taste and cook the garlic onion and onions in medium heat for some time.
The mixture is transferred to a food processor or blender and puree until it is smooth.
It is then sieved while pushing any solids including the pepper seeds to extract all the liquid before then cooling to room temperature.
It is then packaged into well-labelled bottles with an expiry date ready for sale to the market.
The Chilli Sauce is preserved with Sodium Benzoate for longer shelf life.
It is also added with a stabilizer to protect against degradation.