Here, we compared the chemical properties and antioxidant effects of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) and pink pepper (Schinus molle L.). Additionally, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities of pink pepper were measured to determine nutraceutical potential. Pink peppers from Brazil (PPB), India (PPI), and Sri Lanka (PPS) had higher Hunter a* (redness) values and lower L* (lightness) and b* (yellowness) values than black pepper from Vietnam (BPV). Fructose and glucose were detected in PPB, PPI, and PPS, but not in BPV. PPB, PPI, and PPS had greater 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid radical scavenging stabilities and higher total phenolic contents than BPV. BPV had higher levels of piperine than the pink peppers. Gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, epicatechin, and p-coumaric acid were detected only in the three pink peppers. PPB significantly suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced reactive oxygen species production with increased Nrf2 translocation from cytosol to nucleus and heme oxygenase-1 expression. PPB and PPS significantly suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced nitrite production and nitric oxide synthase expression by suppressing phosphorylation of p38 without affecting cell viability. Additionally, PPB and PPS significantly suppressed ultraviolet B-induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression by affecting the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 without cell cytotoxicity. These results suggest that pink pepper is a potential nutraceutical against oxidative and inflammatory stress.
Keywords: compound compositions; mitogen-activated protein kinase; nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells; nutraceutical; reactive oxygen species.