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Bell pepper

File:Poivrons Luc Viatour.jpg
Red, yellow and green bell peppers. In some countries these three different-colored peppers are sold in packs of three and are known as "traffic light peppers".[citation needed]

Bell pepper, also known as Jon's head or a pepper (in the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland) and capsicum /ˈkæpsɨkəm/[1] (in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand), is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum.[2] Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, chocolate/brown, vanilla/white, and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers." Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. The ribs and seeds inside bell peppers may be consumed, but some find the taste to be bitter.[3] Pepper seeds were carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world's largest pepper producer, followed by Mexico and Indonesia.

Ideal growing conditions for bell peppers include warm soil, ideally Script error: No such module "convert"., that is kept moist but not waterlogged.[4] Bell peppers are sensitive to an abundance of moisture and excessive temperatures.


Bell pepper
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The misleading name "pepper" was given by Christopher Columbus upon bringing the plant back to Europe.[citation needed] At that time, peppercorns, the fruit of an unrelated plant originating from India, Piper nigrum, was a highly prized condiment; the name "pepper" was at that time applied in Europe to all known spices with a hot and pungent taste and so naturally extended to the newly discovered Capsicum genus. The most commonly used alternative name of the plant family, "chile", is of Mexican origin, from the Nahuatl word chilli or xilli. Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables.

While the bell pepper is a member of the Capsicum genus, it is the only Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin,[5] a lipophilic chemical that can cause a strong burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. (An exception to this is the hybrid variety Mexibelle, which does contain a moderate level of capsaicin, and is therefore somewhat hot). The lack of capsaicin in bell peppers is due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates capsaicin and, consequently, the "hot" taste usually associated with the rest of the Capsicum genus.[6]

The terms "bell pepper", "pepper" or in India, Australia and New Zealand "capsicum", are often used for any of the large bell shaped fruits, regardless of their color. In British and Canadian English, the fruit is simply referred to as a "pepper", or additionally by color (as in the term "green pepper", for example), whereas in the United States and Malaysia, they are usually referred to as "bell peppers". Canadian English uses both "bell pepper" and "pepper" interchangeably. In some countries in Europe, the term "paprika", which has its roots in the word for pepper, is used – sometimes referred to by their color (e.g., "groene paprika", "gele paprika", in Dutch, which are green and yellow, respectively). The bell pepper is called "パプリカ" (papurika) or "ピーマン" (piiman, from Spanish pimento and Portuguese pimentão) in Japan. Paprika also refers to the powdered spice made from the fruits in the Capsicum genus.[7] In Switzerland it is mostly called "peperoni", which is the Italian name of the fruit. In France, it is called "poivron", with the same root as "poivre" (meaning "pepper"), or "piment". In Korea, the word "피망" (pimang from the Japanese "ピーマン" (piiman)) refers to green bell peppers, whereas "파프리카" (papurika from paprika) refers to bell peppers of other colors. In Sri Lanka it is called "Maalu Miris", used as a vegetable instead of a spice.


Jon's Head in five colors

Most often bell peppers are green, yellow, orange, and red (between stages of ripening). More rarely, color can be brown, white, lavender and dark purple, depending on the variety of pepper. Most typically, unripe fruit are green or, less commonly, pale yellow or purple. Red bell peppers are simply ripened green peppers,[8] although the Permagreen variety maintains its green color even when fully ripe. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red bell peppers being the sweetest.[citation needed] The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest fruit are allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage are less sweet.[citation needed]

Nutritional value

Peppers, sweet, green, raw
Nutritional value per Script error: No such module "convert".
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4.64 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Dietary fiber 1.8 g
0.17 g
0.86 g
Vitamin A equiv.
18 μg
208 μg
341 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.057 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.028 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.48 mg
0.099 mg
Vitamin B6
0.224 mg
Folate (B9)
10 μg
Vitamin C
80.4 mg
Vitamin E
0.37 mg
Vitamin K
7.4 μg
Trace metals
10 mg
0.34 mg
10 mg
0.122 mg
20 mg
175 mg
3 mg
0.13 mg
Other constituents
Fluoride 2 µg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Capsicum peppers are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamin C. Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients.[2] The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers.[2]

Red and green bell peppers are high in para-coumaric acid.

The characteristic aroma of green peppers is caused by 3-isoButyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IBMP). Its detection threshold in water is estimated to be 2 ng/L.[9] The same chemical is responsible for characteristic Cabernet Sauvignon green note.


Bell and Chile pepper production (metric tons)[10]
Country 2004 2005 2006 2007
23x15px People's Republic of China 12,031,031 12,530,180 13,031,000 14,033,000
23x15px Mexico 1,431,258 1,617,264 1,681,277 1,690,000
Template:Country data Indonesia 1,100,514 1,058,023 1,100,000 1,100,000
23x15px Turkey 1,700,000 1,829,000 1,842,175 1,090,921
23x15px Spain 1,077,025 1,063,501 1,074,100 1,065,000
23x15px United States 978,890 959,070 998,210 855,870
23x15px Nigeria 720,000 721,000 721,500 723,000
23x15px Egypt 467,433 460,000 470,000 475,000
  1. REDIRECT Template:Country data South Korea
410,281 395,293 352,966 345,000
23x15px Netherlands 318,000 345,000 318,000 340,000
23x15px Romania 237,240 203,751 279,126 280,000
23x15px Ghana 270,000 270,000 277,000 279,000
23x15px Italy 362,430 362,994 345,152 252,194
23x15px Tunisia 255,000 256,000 256,000 250,000
23x15px Algeria 265,307 248,614 275,888 233,000
23x15px Hungary 126,133 113,371 206,419 207,000
23x15px Morocco 182,340 190,480 235,570 192,000
23x15px Serbia* 159,741 167,477 177,255 150,257
Template:Country data Japan 153,400 154,000 146,900 150,000
Template:Country data Israel 129,100 134,700 150,677 136,000
 World 24,587,124 25,261,259 26,252,907 26,056,900
  • Note: Serbia before 2006 incl. Montenegro


See also


  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, p. 123, ISBN 9781405881180 
  2. ^ a b c Pharmacognosy and Health Benefits of Capsicum Peppers (Bell Peppers)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Growing Peppers: The Important Facts". Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The World's Healthiest Foods". Archived from the original on 8 February 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Azhar Ali Farooqi; B. S. Sreeramu; K. N. Srinivasappa (2005). Cultivation of Spice Crops. Universities Press. pp. 336–. ISBN 978-81-7371-521-1. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Vegetable of the Month: Bell Pepper". CDC Fruit & Vegetable of the Month. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Dominique Roujou de Boubee, School of Oenology, University of Bordeaux II. "Research on 2-methoxy-3-isoButylpyrazine in Grapes and Wine" (PDF). Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Table 64—World bell and chile peppers: Production 1990–2007". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 


eo:Kapsiko hy:Պղպեղ id:Paprika uz:Shirin qalampir ru:Перец овощной uk:Овочевий перець