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J Food Sci. 2007 Mar;72(2):S98-102.

Antioxidant activities of different colored sweet bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.).

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Dept. of Food Science, Louisiana State Univ. Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.


Antioxidant compounds and their antioxidant activity in 4 different colored (green, yellow, orange, and red) sweet bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) were investigated. The total phenolics content of green, yellow, orange, and red peppers determined by the Folin-Ciocalteau method were 2.4, 3.3, 3.4, and 4.2 micromol catechin equivalent/g fresh weight, respectively. The red pepper had significantly higher total phenolics content than the green pepper. Among the 4 different colored peppers, red pepper contained a higher level of beta-carotene (5.4 microg/g), capsanthin (8.0 microg/g), quercetin (34.0 microg/g), and luteolin (11.0 microg/g). The yellow pepper had the lowest beta-carotene content (0.2 microg/g), while the green one had undetectable capsanthin and the lowest content of luteolin (2.0 microg/g). The free radical scavenging abilities of peppers determined by the 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method were lowest for the green pepper (2.1 micromol Trolox equivalent/g) but not significantly different from the other 3 peppers. All 4 colored peppers exhibited significant abilities in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (C22:6) during heating. However, these 4 peppers did not show significant differences in their abilities in preventing cholesterol oxidation. The green pepper showed slightly higher capability in preventing the oxidation of DHA compared to the other 3 peppers.

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