Stiftung Warentest: Numerous types of pepper contaminated with pollutants

Stiftung Warentest: Numerous types of pepper contaminated with pollutants

Pepper is not only a popular spice, but also a healing agent in naturopathy. For example, black pepper can reduce the risk of being overweight. Some spices contained even inhibit the production of fat cells and thus counteract the development of obesity. But many types of pepper failed in a current test. Only half of the grain varieties tested were rated "good". None of the ground pepper products even got a good grade. Five peppers were even contaminated.

Gourmets should generally prefer peppercorns for their own grinder. The hard shell of the grain preserves the original and spicy taste. If the pepper is already ground, the taste is quickly lost. In an evaluation by the Stiftung Warentest on black pepper, almost all peppercorns were sensory. The experts were convinced of the good quality of almost all varieties. The grains were freshly ground before testing.

The differences between fresh and finished pepper are great. Almost all peppercorns were convincing in the sensory test: eight rated "good" in this point, four organic products even "very good" - they are particularly aromatic. In the case of ground pepper, on the other hand, only the two comparatively expensive products score points.

However, the joy of seasoning slows down pollutants, especially mineral oils. The testers detected saturated mineral oils (MOSH) in all products. Aromatic mineral oils (MOAH), which are suspected of causing cancer, are of greater concern for health. MOAH detected the testers in four products, three times only in traces. The peppercorns from “Lafer. Delicious. Life. ”From the product range of star chef Johann Lafer: The pepper is extremely contaminated with MOAH. Around 54 milligrams per kilogram were determined - much more than the testers have ever found in a food. So far, a grape seed oil from the test gourmet oils with around 10 milligrams MOAH per kilogram has been the top seller. However, since pepper is only consumed in very small quantities, even this concentration is not an acute health hazard. However, MOAH and large amounts of MOSH have no place in food. Two ground peppers in the test are not marketable due to the pollutant load: The testers showed significant amounts of prohibited ethylene oxide and the highest pesticide residues in the test. Both powders were also exposed to ionizing radiation, which should have been labeled.

An overview of the individual results
The result: Eight have a "good" sensory rating, four are particularly aromatic and achieve a "very good" in appearance, smell and taste. The best peppercorns are those from Lebensbaum (6 euros, all prices per 100 grams). Also recommended are the inexpensive from Lidl / Fairglobe (2.49 euros) and the expensive from Karstadt Perfetto / Excellent (10 euros). All three bear the EU organic label.
Only two of the finished powders are "good" in terms of their senses. Ostermann is at the front (6.25 euros). The powder is good for the senses, but overall it is only satisfactory. The powder from Fuchs (7.85 euros) is also good in taste, overall satisfactory. Five products are rated “poor” due to very high levels of pollutants: the peppercorns from “Lafer. Life ”(9.15 euros), also four times ground pepper - Aldi (north) Portland pepper black (1.38 euros), Lidl / Kania pepper black (1.38 euros), Aldi (south) Le Gusto pepper black (1st , 38 euros) and HES pepper black (1.38 euros).

Prefer to use unground pepper
The experts recommend real gourmets to grind pepper freshly. The Stiftung Warentest has currently tested four electric and 14 manual pepper mills: only four of the mills perform "well", the test winner is a hand mill from France. Two of the electric ones, on the other hand, fail with a "poor": In the endurance test, which simulates a good five years of service life, the gearbox of one model gave up relatively quickly, the grinding degree of the other adjusted itself and could not be adjusted after some time. The detailed tests "Black pepper" and "Pepper mills" appear in the January issue of the test magazine (from today at the kiosk)

Pepper a healthy spice
According to a study by the Pennsylvania State University, spices such as black pepper can lower blood lipid levels and the production of insulin. This was the finding of a study by researchers from Pennsylvania State University. In natural medicine, spices and herbs have always been used as remedies. For example, rosemary is prescribed as a remedy for chronic circulatory disorders. Thyme has an antispasmodic effect and is used for bronchitis and cough. Cloves are considered antibacterial and are used for mouth and rake infections. Garlic is popular and scientifically recognized. Anyone who eats garlic daily has been shown to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The garlic is also said to have an antibacterial effect. The tuber is most often used for fungal diseases. (sb)

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