- Capsicum consists of about 27 species,, of which five are widely cultivated viz., Capsicum annuum, C. chinensis, C. frutescens, C. pubescens, and C. baccatum. (4)
- Capsicum annuum is a species of the Capsicum genus (chillies or peppers and capsicums or bell peppers). It is the most common and extensively cultivated of the five domesticated capsicums.
- Despite the species name annuum, which means "annual", from Latin annus meaning "yearly", the plant is not annual, and in the absence of frost it survives several seasons, and is especially productive in warm and dry climates. (11)
- Common names in English usually relates to flavor and size of the variant. "Capsicums" are red or green peppers in Australia and New Zealand or "bell
peppers" in the U.S. and Great Britain.. Smaller and hotter varieties referred to as chillis, chilies, chile or chili peppers or peppers.. (11)
Red pepper is a very variable herb or subshrub, 0.5 to 1.5 meters tall, much branched, with a strong taproot and numerous lateral roots. Stems are irregular to subterete, angular and glabrous, up to 1 centimeter in diameter.. Leaves are alternate, simple, very variable, petioles p to 1o centimeters long. Leaf blade is light to dark green, ovate, up to 10 centimeters by 5 centimeters, with entire margins, acuminate at the apex. Flowers are borne singly, usually white, five to seven stamens with pale blue to purplish anthers. Fruit is a non-pulpy berry, usually, very variable in size, shape, and color, and degree of pungency, usually more or less conical, up to 30 centimeters long, green, yellow, cream or purplish when immature, red, orange yellow when mature. Seed orbicular, flattened, 3 to 4.5 millimeters in diameter, approximately 1 millimeter thick, pale yellow. (12)
Cultivated as garden vegetable.
- Study yielded TPC (total phenolic content) of 272.47 ± 7.38 mg GAE/g DW. Ethanol extract showed highest total flavonoid (TF) content at 1630.3 ± 86.96 mg QR/g DW. Ethanolic extract also recorded the highest proanthocyanidins (total condensed tannin TCT) contents at 709.99 ± 5.50 mg CE/g DW. Phytochemical contents were higher in ethanolic extracts compared to aqueous extracts. (see study below) (4)
- Study of green bell pepper mean performance showed ranged of 83.13-111.97 mg/100g ascorbic acid content, 0.038-0.120 capsaicin % content, 9.90-13.30 mg/100 g chlorophyll
content, and 5.51-6.57 % dry matter.
- Study showed α-tocopherol content of 3.06 and 24.76 µg and 24.76 µg vitamin E. (13)
- Study of two different Capsicum cultivars showed highest concentration of quercetin in yellow and green pepper fruits (29.0-29.6 µg/g fw) while a higher amount of luteolin was reported in red pepper (11.0 µg/g fw).
Phenolic aids and flavonoids ere identified in fruits, leaves, stems, and placenta of pepper. From phenolic acid family, hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxycinnamic acid were reported, along with chalcones, stilbenes, and coumarins. In the flavonoid class, flavonol, flavan-3-ol, flavone, flavanone, flavanonol, flavanol and anthocyanidin subfamilies are reported. (13)
- Nutrient analysis of raw sweet, red pepper per 100 g yielded: (Principle) water 92.21 g, energy 26 kcal or 111 kJ, protein 0.99 g, total lipid (fat) 0.3 g, ash 0.47, carbohydrate 0.03 g, total dietary fiber 2.1 g, total sugars 4.2 g, glucose (dextrose), 1.94 g, fructose 2.26 g (Vitamins) folates 46 µg, niacin 0.979 mg, pyridoxine 0.291 mg, riboflavin 0.85 mg, thiamin 0.064 mg, vitamin A 3131 IU, vitamin C 127.7 mg, vitamin E 1.58 mg, vitamin K 4.9 mg, (Electrolytes) sodium 4 mg, potassium 211 mg, (Minerals) calcium 7 mg, iron (Fe) 0.43 mg, magnesium 12 mg, phosphorus 26 mg, zinc 0.25 mg, copper 0.017 mg, selenium 0.1 µg. (14)
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and secretase and ß-amyloid aggregation inhibitory properties.
· Widely consumed vegetable.
- Eaten raw or cooked.
·Juice of the fruit, mixed
with carrot juice, used as skin purifier, taken 2 to 3 cups daily.
· Mixed with spinach juice, used for abdominal pains, a cupful
every 2 hours.
· Fruit also used for sore throat, hoarseness, dyspepsia. diarrhea,
• Review of Essential Enzymes: Review highlights the essential enzymes present and its mode of action using bioinformatics online tools. The enzymes viz. peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, tyrosinase, catecholase, Pectin esterase, Catalase, 9-lipoxygenase, L-asparaginase, Polygalactouronase, Capsanthin and Ribulose-Phosphate 3-Epimerase contribute to its properties by various molecular mechanisms. The mechanisms provide understanding for the application of the enzymes in food processing and production of food ingredients. (2)
• Inhibition of ß-Secretase Activity and ß-Amyloid Aggregation: Deposition of amyloid protein as senile plaques is the major signature of Alzheimer's diseases (AD). It is produced by sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein by secretases. Study evaluated the effect pf polyphenol-rich extracts from bell pepper on amyloid production and aggregation in vitro. Results showed dose-dependent inhibition of ß-secretases by pepper fruits with ripe fruits (2.17 ± 0.17 µg/L) showing significantly (p<0.05) higher inhibitory effect than unripe fruits. The phenolic extracts from pepper fruits could counteract the initial aggregation of Aß1-40 and prevent further aggregation preformed fibrils. The inhibitory activity was attributed to phenolic constituents. Results suggest bell pepper could be a possible dietary intervention in the management of AD. (3)
• Antioxidant / Phytochemicals: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanol extracts of Capsicum species, C. annuum and C. frutescens for phytochemicals and antioxidant properties by DPPH, NO, and ABTS and phosphomolybdenum assays. CA var. grossum showed a significantly higher phenolic content, The ethanolic extract of CA var grossum also showed significantly higher proanthocyanidin contents. (4)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of water extract from bell pepper leaves on mouse spleen cells and the mechanism of its effect.
The leaf extract significantly inhibited inflammatory cytokine production, inhibited cell proliferation without cytotoxicity, and suppressed expression of inflammatory proteins. Results demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity, mediated as immunosuppressive activity against T-cell activation in-vitro. Study suggest presence of constituents with anti-inflammatory activity.
• Yoga Plus Bell Pepper in T2 Diabetes Mellitus / No Effect: Various studies have reported beneficial effect of Yoga in patients with T2DM. This study evaluated the short-term effect of adding bell pepper juice in an integrated approach of yoga therapy )IAYT) on blood glucose levels and cardiovascular variables in patients with T2DM.
Results showed no significant difference in overall (fasting and post-prandial) blood glucose levels in IAYT and addition of 100 ml of bell pepper juice twice daily. (7)
• Fruit Morphology as Taxonomic Features in Five Varieties: Study reports on the variations in fruit morphological features of Capsicum annuum varieties, i.e., var. abbreviatum, var. annuum, var. accuminatum, var. grossum, and var. glabriusculum, in measures of fruit length, shape, degree of hollowness, number of seeds, color, among others. Var. grossum fruit is large, rounded, trilocular and inconspicuously hollowed.
Features are shown to be good taxonomic characters for delimiting the five varieties of C. annuum.
• Gold Nanoparticles / Catalytic Activity / Pulp: Study reports on an easy rapid biosynthesis method for gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) from C. annuum var. grossum pulp extract in a single pot process. The aqueous pulp extract
was used as biotic reducing agent. The AuNPs were well dispersed and stable with good catalytic activity.
• Study on Bacterial Colonization in Germinating Seeds: Study investigated the ability of commensal E. coli and pathogenic L. monocytogenes strains to internalize sweet pepper seedlings via seed bacterization, with germinating seeds and roots as infiltration sites for entry of enteric bacteria. Study could not detect stably or transiently colonized inoculated bacteria in 6-7 weeks old seedlings, suggesting low risk of internalized enteric or human pathogenic bacteria via germinating seeds in sweet pepper.
Also see: Sili, Siling labuyo
- Cultivated as garden vegetable.