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How Do We Have Bell Peppers Year-Round?

Due to the seeds in bell peppers, this year-round produce item is classified as a fruit. They are grown and consumed by many different cultures and are versatile and an easy choice when it comes to adding a few extra vitamins to any meal. Unlike grapes that are produced all over, bell peppers do not thrive in multiple climates throughout the U.S. This fruit requires warm climates to bloom and are mostly grown in Florida. California, Georgia and Texas.

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What Are Bell Peppers?

Peppers are a fruit that belongs to the capsicum species. Originating from the Greek word “kapo”, capsicum is a tropical American pepper of the nightshade family that contains a large number of seeds. Originally peppers did not look like the peppers found in stores today. Instead, they are said to have looked like red and orange cherries. This fruit was previously used in medicine, however, pepper consumption dates back to 4000 B.C (6,000 years ago). Some people seemed to enjoy the spice, but for those who didn’t, they were still consumed for their variety of vitamins. Unlike hot peppers such as jalapeños and cayenne, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is the recessive gene that causes peppers to be spicy,

Different Types of Bell Peppers

There is no such thing as a variety of green bell peppers! Similar to tomatoes and bananas, bell peppers are green when they first bloom. From green, the peppers can continue to ripen into a variety of different colors. The most commonly seen colors from this process are Red, Orange, Yellow, and sometimes Purple. Green peppers tend to possess a more bitter taste as they are at the earliest stage of the ripening process. All peppers, regardless of color, contain similar amounts of vitamins A and C, however, just like tomatoes, red bell peppers contain an antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopene most commonly is known to prevent aging, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

How Do We Have Bell Peppers Year-Round?

When bell peppers are not in season in the U.S., they are imported from countries that are, such as Mexico. Most of the bell peppers in the U.S. are grown throughout the country itself with the top three producers being; Florida, California, and Georgia. Bell peppers grow in these states from October through June. Thanks to Mexico’s extended warm and humid weather, the United States can have fresh bell peppers year-round. Mexico is the second largest producer of peppers behind China and second in the exportation of peppers worldwide.

Global Import and Export (USD)

Bell Peppers Imports

Bell Pepper Exports

Harvesting and Packaging Bell Peppers Year-Round

Whether or not bell peppers are ready to harvest is all up to their unique color. The fruit is picked by hand and one pepper tree can be good for up to four harvests. Once picked, they are taken over to the harvesting rig. In the harvesting rig, workers check each fruit for quality. The peppers will continue to ripen after getting picked, therefore the next step in the harvesting process is cooling them down, halting the ripening process. Storage temperature for peppers should be between 40-45 degrees. On top of cooling the peppers, some growers improve the shelf life of their peppers by waxing the outer layer. Waxing of produce is essential to preserve the moisture, extending shelf life. This particular type of wax is edible and safe for human consumption. Once this step is complete, the produce is boxed and prepared to ship.

When shipping produce items like bell peppers, a temperature control truck is highly recomended. A truck that is temperature controlled provides temperature regulation for the produce it is carrying. When it comes to packaging, loose boxes are not recommended as proper packaging when shipping. Because bell peppers have a soft exterior, they are prone to easy damage. To prevent movement while transportation, spaces between the boxes will have to be filled with items such as pallets or trailer dividers, insuring safety. If a full trailer of peppers is not needed, the alternative solution to shipping while mentioning the needed temperature would be using a refrigerated container located somewhere within the truck. A refrigerator unit serves the same purpose as a temperature-controlled trailer.

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Bell Peppers fall under Tariff Rules of HS as the “Peppers (Capsicum, Pimenta) fresh or chilled “category. In 2018 the average tariff was 17.1% making it the 789th lowest tariff under HS product coalification. The top three countries with the highest import value are South Korea (268%), Barbados (94.6%), and Lebanon (68.5%). The top three Countries with the loves tariffs on bell peppers in 2018 are Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong all showing data as 0%. “Peppers (Capsicum, Pimenta) fresh or chilled” ranks 4384th in the Product Complexity Index (PCI).

Shipping Bell Peppers with FreightCenter Year-Round

Shipping produce can be a delicate process and there are a variety of important factors to keep in mind when choosing a freight shipping partner. At FreightCenter, we can help find the best carrier with the lowest rates for all bell pepper shipments. By contacting one of our freight shipping experts, you’ll be able to list all needs and requirements for your load before the shipping process. Hashing out the details and labeling your shipment‘s specific guidelines ahead of time will ensure a seamless shipping process for everyone involved. Give us a call at 800-716-7608 or run a free online freight quote today!

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