Characterisation of antioxidant compounds in sweet bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) under organic and conventional growing systems

J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Sep;92(12):2409-15. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5624. Epub 2012 Feb 24.


Background: Sweet red bell pepper is one of the best sources of ascorbic acid and carotenoids as well as phenolic compounds important in the human diet. There have been some studies showing a higher level of bioactive compounds in organic bell pepper fruits compared with conventional fruits, but not all studies have been consistent in this respect. The levels of carotenoids and phenolics are very variable and may be affected by ripeness, genotype and cultivation.

Results: The results obtained in this study showed that an organic growing system affected the level of bioactive compounds (carotenoids and polyphenols) in sweet bell pepper fruits cultivated in Poland. Organic bell pepper fruits contained significantly more dry matter, vitamin C, total carotenoids, β-carotene, α-carotene, cis-β-carotene, total phenolic acids (as well as individual gallic and chlorogenic acids) and flavonoids (quercetin D-glucoside, quercetin and kaempferol) compared with conventional fruits. The bell pepper variety also affected the level of antioxidant compounds in fruits.

Conclusion: Organic growing increased the level of antioxidant compounds such as carotenoids, phenolic compounds and vitamin C in sweet bell pepper. The second significant factor affecting the antioxidant compound content of sweet bell pepper was variety. It would be necessary to continue this study as a long-term experiment in order to eliminate the influence of seasonality.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Capsicum / metabolism*
  • Carotenoids / metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Food, Organic / analysis*
  • Fruit / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Organic Agriculture / methods
  • Poland
  • Polyphenols / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Polyphenols
  • Carotenoids