Black pepper powder is obtained by grinding dried berries of Piper nigrum. Piper nigrum plant is a flowering vine in the family, Piperaceae. The plant grows for a minimum of three years and produces small flowers, which then develop into berries. These berries are picked when unripe(green) or half-ripe(about to turn red), and are dried until they shrivel and turn dark brown or black in colour. The resulting berries are black peppercorns. The pepper is native to present-day Kerala in Southwestern India. Black Pepper powder is a fine, brownish-black colored powder with characteristic aroma of pepper, that comes from ground black peppercorns. It has an active ingredient, piperine which is the source of its characteristic heat. It is used as a spice and seasoning for cuisines all over the world.
For pepper powder, it's better to buy whole peppercorn and crush it at home, as it makes sure that the spice retains its flavour and also lasts longer. When buying pepper powder in packaged form, make sure it is well sealed and free from clumps. It is easily available at every grocery store. Pepper powder deteriorates with time and can take on a bitter flavor, so buy in less quantity or as required to use. Look for its expiration date on the packaging.
Excessive consumption of black pepper powder can cause burning sensation inside the stomach. If it accidentally comes in contact with the eyes, it can cause burning sensation in the eyes as well.(3)
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