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

J Food Sci. 2007 Mar;72(2):S98-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00245.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Capsicum / chemistry
  • Capsicum / metabolism*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Luteolin / analysis
  • Luteolin / metabolism
  • Nutritive Value
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Phenols / metabolism*
  • Pigmentation*
  • Quercetin / analysis
  • Quercetin / metabolism
  • Xanthophylls / analysis
  • Xanthophylls / metabolism
  • beta Carotene / analysis
  • beta Carotene / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Phenols
  • Xanthophylls
  • beta Carotene
  • capsanthin
  • Quercetin
  • Luteolin