Sichuan Pepper
Overview
 
Sichuan pepper is the outer pod of the tiny fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 of a number of species in the genus Zanthoxylum
Zanthoxylum
Zanthoxylum is a genus of about 250 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs in the citrus or rue family, Rutaceae, native to warm temperate and subtropical areas worldwide. Common names include Prickly-ash and Hercules' Club.The fruit of several species are used to make the spice...

(most commonly Z. piperitum, Z. simulans
Zanthoxylum simulans
Zanthoxylum simulans , is a flowering plant in the family Rutaceae, native to eastern China and Taiwan. It is one of several species of Zanthoxylum from which Sichuan pepper is produced .It is a spreading shrub or small tree growing to 7 m tall...

, and Z. schinifolium), widely grown and consumed in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 as a spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

. Despite the name, it is not related to black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

 or to chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s. It is widely used in the cuisine of Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, from which it takes its name, as well as Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

an, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

ese, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

ese, Japanese
Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine has developed over the centuries as a result of many political and social changes throughout Japan. The cuisine eventually changed with the advent of the Medieval age which ushered in a shedding of elitism with the age of shogun rule...

, Konkani
Konkani people
Konkani people , form a group of people mainly found in the Konkan Coast of western India whose mother-tongue is the Konkani language....

, and Toba Batak cuisines, among others.

It is a close relative of the African spice uzazi
Uzazi
The term Uzazi refers to the dried fruit of the West African deciduous shrub Zanthoxylum tessmannii syn. Fagara tessmannii, a member of the 'prickly ash' Zanthoxylum family. The name of the spice is derived from Nigerian, where the spice is grown and harvested on a commercial basis...

.
Sichuan pepper is known in Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 as huājiāo (花椒; literally "flower pepper").
Encyclopedia
Sichuan pepper is the outer pod of the tiny fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 of a number of species in the genus Zanthoxylum
Zanthoxylum
Zanthoxylum is a genus of about 250 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs in the citrus or rue family, Rutaceae, native to warm temperate and subtropical areas worldwide. Common names include Prickly-ash and Hercules' Club.The fruit of several species are used to make the spice...

(most commonly Z. piperitum, Z. simulans
Zanthoxylum simulans
Zanthoxylum simulans , is a flowering plant in the family Rutaceae, native to eastern China and Taiwan. It is one of several species of Zanthoxylum from which Sichuan pepper is produced .It is a spreading shrub or small tree growing to 7 m tall...

, and Z. schinifolium), widely grown and consumed in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 as a spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

. Despite the name, it is not related to black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

 or to chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s. It is widely used in the cuisine of Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, from which it takes its name, as well as Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

an, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

ese, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

ese, Japanese
Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine has developed over the centuries as a result of many political and social changes throughout Japan. The cuisine eventually changed with the advent of the Medieval age which ushered in a shedding of elitism with the age of shogun rule...

, Konkani
Konkani people
Konkani people , form a group of people mainly found in the Konkan Coast of western India whose mother-tongue is the Konkani language....

, and Toba Batak cuisines, among others.

It is a close relative of the African spice uzazi
Uzazi
The term Uzazi refers to the dried fruit of the West African deciduous shrub Zanthoxylum tessmannii syn. Fagara tessmannii, a member of the 'prickly ash' Zanthoxylum family. The name of the spice is derived from Nigerian, where the spice is grown and harvested on a commercial basis...

.

Names

Sichuan pepper is known in Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 as huājiāo (花椒; literally "flower pepper"). A lesser-used name is shānjiāo (山椒; literally "mountain pepper"; not to be confused with Tasmanian mountain pepper
Tasmannia lanceolata
Tasmannia lanceolata , commonly known as the Mountain Pepper , or Cornish Pepper Leaf , is a shrub native to woodlands and cool temperate rainforest of south-eastern Australia. The shrub varies from 2 to 10 m high...

), which is also the root of the Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 . Confusingly, the Korean sancho (산초, 山椒) refers to a different if related species (Z. schinifolium), while Z. piperitum is known as chopi (초피).

The Indian subcontinent uses a number of varieties of Sichuan pepper. In Konkani
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

 it is known as tephal or tirphal. In Nepali
Nepali language
Nepali or Nepalese is a language in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and parts of Myanmar...

, Z. alatum is known as timur (टिमुर), while in Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

, it is known as yer ma (གཡེར་མ) and in Bhutan as thingay.

In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

's North Sumatra
North Sumatra
North Sumatra is a province of Indonesia on the Sumatra island. Its capital is Medan. It is the most populous Indonesian province outside of Java. It is slightly larger than Sri Lanka in area.- Geography and population :...

 province, around Lake Toba
Lake Toba
Lake Toba is a lake and supervolcano. The lake is 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about , the lake stretches from to...

, Z. acanthopodium is known as andaliman in the Batak Toba language and tuba in the Batak Karo language.

In America, it is possible to come across names such as "Szechwan pepper," "Chinese pepper," "Japanese pepper," "aniseed pepper," "Sprice pepper," "Chinese prickly-ash," "Fagara," "sansho," "Nepal pepper," "Indonesian lemon pepper," and others, sometimes referring to specific species within this group, since this plant is not well known enough in the West to have an established name. Some brands also use the English description "Dehydrated Prickly Ash" since Sichuan pepper, and Japanese sansho, are from related plants that are sometimes called prickly ash because of their thorns.

Culinary uses

Sichuan pepper has a unique aroma and flavour that is not hot or pungent like black or white pepper, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth (caused by its 3% of hydroxy-alpha-sanshool) that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee
Harold McGee
Harold McGee is an American author who writes about the chemistry, technique and history of food and cooking and has written two seminal books on kitchen science. His first book, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen was initially published in 1984. A greatly revised second...

 in On Food and Cooking
On Food and Cooking
On Food And Cooking: The Science And Lore Of The Kitchen is a book by Harold McGee, published by Scribner in the United States in 1984 and revised extensively for a 2004 second edition...

, second edition, p429 they are not simply pungent; "they produce a strange tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electrical current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once to induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive. So theoretically may cause a kind of general neurological confusion."

Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seedpods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty sand-like texture. It is generally added at the last moment. Star anise
Star anise
Illicium verum, commonly called Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise, is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China...

 and ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

 are often used with it prominently in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses. Ma la
Sichuan mala
Mala sauce refers to a popular Chinese oily spicy and numbing sauce which consists of Sichuanese peppercorn, chili pepper and various spices simmered with oil....

, common in Sichuan cooking, is a combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper, and it is a key ingredient in má là hot pot
Hot pot
Hot pot , less commonly Chinese fondue or steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table...

, the Sichuan version of the Chinese traditional dish.

Sichuan pepper is also available as an oil . In this form it is best used in stir-fry noodle dishes without hot spices. The preferred recipe includes ginger oil and brown sugar
Brown sugar
Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white...

 cooked with a base of noodles and vegetables then rice vinegar and Sichuan pepper oil are added after cooking.

Hua jiao yan is a mixture of salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 and Sichuan pepper, roasted and browned in a wok
Wok
A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and Southeast Asia.Woks are most often used for stir frying, but can also be used in other Chinese cooking techniques, such as in steaming, deep frying, braising, stewing, smoking, or making soup...

 and served as a condiment to accompany chicken, duck and pork dishes. The peppercorns can also be lightly fried in order to make a spicy oil with various uses.

In Indonesian Batak cuisine sichuan pepper is ground and mixed with chilis and seasonings into a green sambal Tinombur or chili paste, to accompany grilled pork, carp and other regional specialities. Arsik in one of Batak Tapanuli dishes which use Shinchuan pepper as spice.

Sichuan pepper is one of the few spices important for Nepali
Nepalese cuisine
Nepalese cuisine refers to the cuisines of Nepal. The cultural and geographic diversity of Nepal provide ample space for a variety of cuisines based on ethnicity, soil and climate. Nevertheless dal-bhat-tarkari is eaten throughout the country. Dal is a soup made of lentils and spices...

 (Gurkha
Gurkha
Gurkha are people from Nepal who take their name from the Gorkha District. Gurkhas are best known for their history in the Indian Army's Gorkha regiments, the British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas and the Nepalese Army. Gurkha units are closely associated with the kukri, a forward-curving Nepalese knife...

), Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

an and Bhutanese
Bhutanese
Bhutanese may refer to:* Something of, or related to Bhutan* The official national language of Bhutan, Dzongkha * A person from Bhutan, or of Bhutanese descent...

 cookery of the Himalayas, because few spices can be grown there. One Himalayan specialty is the momo
Momo (food)
Momo is a type of pastry native to Nepal as well as among the Tibetans. It is similar to the Mongolian buuz or the Chinese jiaozi.The Tibetan word momo is a loanword from the Chinese mómo .-Production:...

, a dumpling
Dumpling
Dumplings are cooked balls of dough. They are based on flour, potatoes or bread, and may include meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking. They may have a filling, or there may be other ingredients mixed into the dough. Dumplings may...

 stuffed with vegetables, cottage cheese or minced yak
Yak
The yak, Bos grunniens or Bos mutus, is a long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. In addition to a large domestic population, there is a small, vulnerable wild yak population...

 meat, beef or pork and flavoured with Sichuan pepper, garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

, ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

 and onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

. The noodles are steamed and served dry, together with a fiery sauce. It is believed that it can sanitize meat that may not be so fresh, although in reality it may only mask foul flavors. The foul smell masking property of Sichuan pepper made it popular in offal
Offal
Offal , also called, especially in the United States, variety meats or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs other than...

 dishes.

In Japan the dried and powdered leaves of Zanthoxylum sancho are used to make noodle dishes and soups mildly hot and fragrant. The whole fresh leaves, 木の芽 kinome, are used to flavour vegetables, especially bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

 shoots, and to decorate soups. Typically the young shoots are used in this way giving an aromatic lemony flavour to food. They are used to denote spring seasonality in food. The buds, seeds, flowers, and hulls are also used.

Sichuan peppercorns are one of the traditional ingredients in the Chinese
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

 spice mixture five-spice powder
Five-spice powder
Five-spice powder is a mixture of five spices endemic to Chinese cuisine, but also used in other Asian cookery as well.-Formulae:The formulae are based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food. There are many variants. The most common is bajiao , cloves, cinnamon, huajiao ...

 and also shichimi togarashi
Shichimi
Shichimi tōgarashi , also known as , and simply shichimi, is a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients.A typical blend may contain:* coarsely ground red chili pepper...

, a Japanese seven-flavour seasoning.

In Korean cuisine
Cuisine of Korea
Korean cuisine originated from ancient prehistoric traditions in the Korean peninsula evolving through a complex interaction of environmental, political, and cultural trends....

, two species are used: Z. piperitum and Z. schinifolium.

Composition of various species

  • Z. fagara (Central & Southern Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

    , South America) — alkaloid
    Alkaloid
    Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Also some synthetic compounds of similar structure are attributed to alkaloids...

    s, coumarin
    Coumarin
    Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

    s (Phytochemistry, 27, 3933, 1988)
  • Z. simulans (Taiwan) — Mostly beta-myrcene, limonene
    Limonene
    Limonene is a colourless liquid hydrocarbon classified as a cyclic terpene. The more common D isomer possesses a strong smell of oranges. It is used in chemical synthesis as a precursor to carvone and as a renewably-based solvent in cleaning products....

    , 1,8-cineole, Z-beta-ocimene
    Ocimene
    Ocimene refers to several isomeric hydrocarbons. The ocimenes are monoterpenes found within a variety of plants and fruits. α-Ocimene and the two β-ocimenes differ in the position of the isolated double bond: it is terminal in the alpha isomer. α-Ocimene is 3,7-dimethyl-1,3,7-octatriene. ...

     (J. Agri. & Food Chem., 44, 1096, 1996)
  • Z. armatum (Nepal) — linalool (50%), limonene
    Limonene
    Limonene is a colourless liquid hydrocarbon classified as a cyclic terpene. The more common D isomer possesses a strong smell of oranges. It is used in chemical synthesis as a precursor to carvone and as a renewably-based solvent in cleaning products....

    , methyl cinnamate
    Methyl cinnamate
    Methyl cinnamate is the methyl ester of cinnamic acid and is a white or transparent solid with a strong, aromatic odor. It is found naturally in a variety of plants, including in fruits, like strawberry, and some culinary spices, such as Sichuan pepper and some varieties of basil...

    , cineole
  • Z. rhesta (India) — Sabinene
    Sabinene
    Sabinene is a natural bicyclic monoterpene with the molecular formula C10H16. It is isolated from the essential oils of a variety of plants including holm oak and Norway spruce...

    , limonene
    Limonene
    Limonene is a colourless liquid hydrocarbon classified as a cyclic terpene. The more common D isomer possesses a strong smell of oranges. It is used in chemical synthesis as a precursor to carvone and as a renewably-based solvent in cleaning products....

    , pinene
    Pinene
    Pinene is a bicyclic monoterpene chemical compound. There are two structural isomers of pinene found in nature: α-pinene and β-pinene. As the name suggests, both forms are important constituents of pine resin; they are also found in the resins of many other conifers, as well as in non-coniferous...

    s, para-cymene
    Cymene
    Cymene, or p-cymene, is a naturally occurring aromatic organic compound. It is classified as a hydrocarbon related to a monoterpene. Its structure consists of a benzene ring para-substituted with a methyl group and an isopropyl group...

    , terpinene
    Terpinene
    The terpinenes are three isomeric hydrocarbons that are classified as terpenes. They each have the same molecular formula and carbon framework, but they differ in the position of carbon-carbon double bonds. α-Terpinene has been isolated from cardamom and marjoram oils, and from other natural...

    s, 4-terpineol, alpha-terpineol. (Zeitschrift f. Lebensmitteluntersuchung und -forschung A, 206, 228, 1998)
  • Z. piperitum (Japan [leaves]) — citronellal
    Citronellal
    Citronellal or rhodinal or 3,7-dimethyloct-6-en-1-al is a monoterpenoid, the main component in the mixture of terpenoid chemical compounds that give citronella oil its distinctive lemon scent....

    , citronellol
    Citronellol
    Citronellol, or dihydrogeraniol, is a natural acyclic monoterpenoid. Both enantiomers occur in nature. -Citronellol, which is found in citronella oils, including Cymbopogon nardus , is the more common isomer. -Citronellol is found in the oils of rose and Pelargonium geraniums.Citronellol is...

    , Z-3-hexenal (Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, 61, 491, 1997)
  • Z. acanthopodium (Indonesia)


The genus name Zanthoxylum or Xanthoxylum comes from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 xanthon xylon (ξανθὸν ξύλον), meaning "blond wood."

US import ban

From 1968 to 2005, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

 banned the importation of Sichuan peppercorns because they were found to be capable of carrying citrus canker
Citrus canker
Citrus canker is a disease affecting citrus species that is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas axonopodis. Infection causes lesions on the leaves, stems, and fruit of citrus trees, including lime, oranges, and grapefruit...

 (as the tree is in the same family, Rutaceae
Rutaceae
Rutaceae, commonly known as the rue or citrus family, is a family of flowering plants, usually placed in the order Sapindales.Species of the family generally have flowers that divide into four or five parts, usually with strong scents...

, as the genus Citrus
Citrus
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

). This bacterial disease, which is very difficult to control, could potentially harm the foliage and fruit of citrus crops in the U.S. It was never an issue of harm in human consumption. The import ban was only loosely enforced until 2002. In 2005, the USDA
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

and FDA lifted the ban, provided the peppercorns are heated to around 70 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill the canker bacteria before import.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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