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J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Jan;47(1):100-7.

Change in the carotenoid and antioxidant content of spice red pepper (paprika) as a function of ripening and some technological factors.

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Red Pepper Developing Ltd., Obermayer tér 9, Kalocsa 6300, Hungary, and Central Food Research Institute, Herman Ottó u. 15, Budapest 1022, Hungary.


A study was conducted to investigate the change in quality attributes of red pepper (paprika) (Capsicum annuum L. var. Km-622) as a function of ripening and some technological factors. Of quality attributes, carotenoids and bioantioxidants (ascorbic acid and tocopherols) have been studied. It was found that the dynamics of fruit ripening with regard to carotenoids and bioantioxidants was influenced to a considerable extent by weather conditions of the production season. A rainy and cool season yielded fruits with more beta-carotene but less diesters of red xanthophylls as compared to those produced in a relatively dry and warm season. The ripening stage at harvest was found to affect the quality of paprika. Harvest at unripe stages (color break or faint red) resulted in a high accumulation of dehydroascorbic acid in the overripe fruits, whereas de novo biosynthesis of carotenoids and tocopherols was partially retarded. Application of pre-drying centrifugation resulted in a marked loss of ascorbic acid, and as a consequence, carotenoid stability was impaired during the storage of ground paprika. Sugar caramelization caused dry pods and ground paprika to retain more pigments and tocopherol as compared to those from control or centrifuged red pepper samples. During the storage of ground paprika, color stability was improved by grinding the seeds with the pericarp.

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