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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69

Nutritive and medicinal value of capsicum

1 Amity Institute of Microbial Technology, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication5-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Roopesh Jain
School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Airport Bypass Road, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.175860

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How to cite this article:
Singh D, Jain R. Nutritive and medicinal value of capsicum. J Med Soc 2016;30:69

How to cite this URL:
Singh D, Jain R. Nutritive and medicinal value of capsicum. J Med Soc [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Oct 4];30:69. Available from:


Because there is so much diversity of forms, colors, shapes, flavors, pungency, and aromas, the capsicum fruit is a significant substance all over the world as an ingredient of an extensive variety of dishes in numerous countries and used as well as salad, pickles, paprika, chili powder, curry powder, and pepper sauce. Chili peppers are the most used condiment and spice in the entire world, having dethroned black pepper. [1]

The tanginess in pepper is due to an alkaloid known as capsaicin and peppers are characterized as sweet, hot, or mild, depending on capsaicin (C 18 H 27 O 3 N) content. It is a rich source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and vitamin C [2],[3] B-complex, vitamin E, and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese etc. Chili contains seven times more vitamin C than orange. Beta-carotene (β-Carotene) (precursor to vitamin A) vitamin A and vitamin C in chilies are powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals. [4]

The pungent flavor of chili has revolutionized the cooking of tropical countries. Red pepper is used in a wide variety of products frequently in the pickle industry in the form of crushed red pepper or ground red pepper. It stimulates the appetite and cools the body by producing sweat. Fruits of capsicum have antimicrobial properties, and physiological and pharmacological effects. [5] The pungent, not sweet peppers act as therapeutic agents; pungency is apparently the only pharmacological property of chili peppers used as medicine. Chili pepper extracts, oleoresins, hold the sensory qualities of fresh peppers - The color, flavor, pungency, and aroma. Capsaicinoids are widely used for the preparation of industrial hot sauces (Tabasco sauce, for example) as well as for the adornment of different pharmaceutical products together with pads for relieving muscular pains, rubefacient creams, products for lightening the pain of diseases such as arthritis, postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, and nonallergic rhinitis among others. Shampoos to avoid or prevent hair loss, and antioxidant pills made of chili pepper extracts are sold in the market as well. Capsaicin or hot chili pepper extracts are used as repellents in aerosol sprays as well, against dogs and thieves. Hot-candies containing chili pepper products are very popular among the children in Mexico.

The vivid colors exhibited in fruits of capsicum are due to a mixture of esters of capsanthin, capsorubin, crytoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids. These extractable colors of chili pepper fruits are used extensively in the food processing industry in a wide range of products such as sausages and meat products, as well as for cheeses, butters, salad dressings, condiment mixtures, gelatin desserts, and processed foods. [6]

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  References Top

Andrews J. Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums. New ed. Austin: University of Texas Press; 1995. p. 186.  Back to cited text no. 1
MacGillivary JH. Vegetable Production. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc.; 1961. p. 335.  Back to cited text no. 2
Macrae R, Robinson R, Sadler M. Encyclopaedia of food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition. London: Academic Press Ltd. 1993. p. 3496-504.  Back to cited text no. 3
Simonne AH, Simonne EH, Eitenmiller RR, Mills HA, Green NR. Ascorbic acid and provitamin A contents in unusually colored bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). J Food Comp Anal 1997;10:299-311.  Back to cited text no. 4
Govindarajan VS, Sathyanarayana MN. Capsicum--production, technology, chemistry, and quality. Part V. Impact on physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, and metabolism; structure, pungency, pain, and desensitization sequences. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1991;29:435-74.  Back to cited text no. 5
Govindarajan VS. Capsicum--production, technology, chemistry, and quality. Part III. Chemistry of the color, aroma, and pungency stimuli. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1986;24:245-355.  Back to cited text no. 6

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