Submitted to: CAB International United Kingdom
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2010
Publication Date: 2/15/2012
Citation: Funk, P.A., Marshall, D. 2012. Pepper harvest technology. In: Russo, V.M., editor. Peppers: botany, production and uses. Cambridge, MA: CAB International. CAB International United Kingdom. p. 227-240. Interpretive Summary: This scholarly work reviewed all available literature pertaining to pepper harvest technology. The chapter provides a rationale for mechanization, identifies the essential harvester subcomponents and their principles of operation, discusses crop selection and production objectives compatible with mechanization and lists current manufacturers with a brief description of available machines. By describing where pepper harvesting technology has been, what major breakthroughs have occurred, and what the current status of the science is now the chapter equips researchers in other disciplines with the basic understanding needed for them to make advances in their respective fields that are compatible with and that will facilitate pepper harvest mechanization. The work also gives specialists in agricultural engineering and mechanization a starting point for their research efforts in support of the modernization of the American pepper industry.
Technical Abstract: Peppers (Capsicum spp.) include a diverse collection of cultivars produced for a wide variety of end uses. This specialty crop and its processing industry are in the midst of a dual transition driven by labor cost and unavailability. Production and post-harvest processing is either converting to mechanization or experiencing relocation. Over fifty references are cited covering forty-five years of research and development that have resulted in mechanical harvest technology that works with select cultivars. The steps involved in mechanical harvest include dividing the crop, removing peppers, catching and conveying them, cleaning and transporting the fruit, and in some cases destemming it. Seven manufacturers currently offering harvesters are listed with their contact information.