Proximate, mineral composition, antioxidant activity, and total phenolic content of some pepper varieties (Capsicum species)
Four varieties of the red pepper fruits (Capsicum species) were evaluated for chemical composition, antioxidant activity and total phenolic contents using standard analytical technique, ferric-ion reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) assay and Folin-Colcalteau method respectively. The proximate composition values (%) were: moisture (82.54 – 85.19), crude protein (2.64 – 3.51), ash (1.21 – 3.03), fat (1.52 – 2.87), crude fibre (2.37 – 4.71) and CHO (4.62 – 6.71). Minerals were of reasonable levels with Na, K, Ca, and P significantly high in Capsicum frutescens ‘Bird pepper’. Na/K and Ca/P values were found to be less than1 except in Capsicum frutescens (cayenne pepper). Antioxidant activity ranged from 46.66 (bird pepper) – 172.00 (cayenne pepper) mg GAE/100 g ww) while total phenolic content ranged from 55.73 (bird pepper) – 138.00 (bell pepper) ìmole GAE/g WW. The results indicate that Capsicum frutescens bird pepper (Ata wewe), Capsicum frutescens (cayenne pepper) (Ata Sombo), Capsicum annum (Bell pepper) (tatase), and Capsicum annum sweet pepper (Atarodo) used as major condiments in preparation of traditional diets in Nigeria can be utilized as sources of protein supplement, valuable minerals and dietary antioxidants. They can
serve as scavengers of free radicals reported to be associated with occurrence of chronic and degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: Peppers, phytochemicals, Nutritional composition, Free radicals, Diseases
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