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Pepper, by virtue of its versatile use in the world of spices, has deservedly earned the title of King of Spices. The history of Spice trade, is above all, the history of Pepper. Pepper has been moving westwards from India for almost 4 millennia now. Its glory had peaked to levels where it was used a medium of exchange in trade, equivalent to modern day currency. Pepper refers to the near spherical, dried berries of the woody creeper Piper nigrum belonging to the family Piperaceae. The dried berries are about 3 – 5 mm in diameter. The colour may vary from dark green to pink to black to dull white depending on the time of harvest and post harvest processing. The most commonly traded Black Pepper is the dried unripe berry of the Pepper plant and has wrinkles on its surface while the White Pepper is greyish white in colour and has a smooth surface.


Pepper in India


India is one of the largest producer and exporter of Pepper in the world. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka account for over 95% of the Indian produce. The most commonly available grades of Pepper in India are Malabar Garbled and Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold. One variety produces all the quality variants available in the market depending on the type of cultivation, time of harvest and the post harvest processing of berries. India is known to produce three major grades of Pepper, Black Pepper, White Pepper and Green Pepper.India produces around 90000 MT of Pepper per annum of which around 22% – 23% is exported to various countries, primarily, EU, USA and Middle East.


Pepper @ ITC


ITC Spices, with its dedicated presence in the heart of Pepper trading region, Cochin, is fully equipped to supply the best quality Pepper and Pepper products. It offers its customers the best quality, unadulterated, machine cleaned and water washed Pepper meeting the quality specifications of ASTA and ESA. The following class of Pepper products are available under its umbrella:

  • Black pepper: The unripe berries are plucked and dried. The dried berries are black in colour and have a wrinkled exterior.
  • White pepper: The ripe berries are allowed to dry and the dried corns are washed under water till the outer shell falls off which yield a smooth surfaced, spherical, greyish white coloured white pepper corns.
  • Green pepper: The freshly plucked unripe green berries are water cleaned and preserved in brine for shipment.

The primary criteria for adjudging the quality of Pepper is its Bulk Density commonly referred to as Grammage in the trade, besides its Piperine content, colour and moisture. With reference to the aforementioned quality criteria (Bulk Density), the following grades of pepper are available our umbrella of Spices:




400 – 450 grams/litre

450 –550 grams/litre

550 – 650 grams/litre