Pepper Eater

Pepper Eater WomanDried red pepper is the most widely consumed spice in the world, eaten daily by one-quarter of the world's population.

Although the production of pepper flakes and powders has been mechanized in many parts of the globe, hand processing is still a common technique in less industrialized economies.

Manual pepper processing with a mortar and pestle is very slow and prolonged contact with hot pepper oil and dust poses serious health problems for women.

In 2009, a group of engineering students at Stanford University developed a simple solution to this problem. They designed a small hand-cranked shredder that processes dried peppers into flakes and limits the operator's contact with pepper dust and oil.

After graduation, the students partnered with CTI and together, we are refining the design of the Pepper Eater for affordability, manufacturing and assembly.

2012 Field Tests

The most recent Pepper Eater prototype was field tested with Ethiopian women 2012.

Women produced high-quality pepper flakes more than twice as fast as they could by hand, doubling their efficiency and profit.

We plan to produce 10-20 devices for extended field testing in Ethiopia, where dried peppers are a valuable cash crop for small farmers.

Paired with a CTI grinder, the Pepper Eater can:

  • Increase efficiency & income generation for rural women

  • Reduce women's exposure to harmful dust and oils

  • Empower women to become rising entrepreneurs in a male-dominated society

We are establishing local partners for manufacturing, monitoring and assessment. We aim to produce 100 to 500 units to test to distribute to rural pepper markets, which could include Tunisia, India and more.

CollaboratorsMosaic Company Foundation