Paprika

Paprika is a deep red pungent powder prepared from the ground dried pods of the sweet pepper Capsicum annum. Paprika is produced in many warm countries around the world, and several areas have developed products with specific characteristics such as the Hungarian paprika and the Spanish paprika. The same peppers are used in salads and as a source of pimento. The other principal type of red pepper (also C. annum), typically called cayenne pepper or cayenne, is usually much more pungent in flavor. Both types are highly pigmented. The red pepper C. frutescens is the source of the highly colored and very pungent Tabasco sauce.

Paprika contains capsanthin and capsorubin (Fig. 2) occurring mainly as the lauric acid esters. Smaller quantities of about 20 other carotenoids are also present. Specifications do not attempt to describe the pigment profile but usually specify color strength by the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) Color Value. This is essentially the absorption at 460 nm in acetone measured against a cobalt solution or a glass standard used as a reference (3).

Paprika oleoresin (EEC No. E 160c) is an orange-red oil-soluble extract from C. annum. The FDA-approved procedures are specified in 21 CFR Section 73.345 for Paprika Oleoresin. The dried and ground red peppers are extracted with a volatile solvent, usually a chlorinated hydrocarbon

Lutein

Fucoxanthin

Fucoxanthin

Zeaxanthin

Neoxanthin

Neoxanthin

Violaxanthin

17 18 19 20

17 18 19 20

Figure 1. Selected structures for the carotenoids in plants.

Lycopene

Figure 1. Selected structures for the carotenoids in plants.

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