Comparative Study on the Chemical Composition, Antioxidant Properties and Hypoglycaemic Activities of Two Capsicum annuum L. Cultivars (Acuminatum small and Cerasiferum)

  • Rosa TundisEmail author
  • Monica R. Loizzo
  • Federica Menichini
  • Marco Bonesi
  • Filomena Conforti
  • Giancarlo Statti
  • Damiano De Luca
  • Bruno de Cindio
  • Francesco Menichini


The present study aimed to evaluate for the first time the phenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin content and the antioxidant and hypoglycemic properties of Capsicum annuum var. acuminatum small and C. annuum var. cerasiferum air-dried fruits. The ethanol extract of C. annuum var. acuminatum small, characterized by the major content of total poliphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and capsaicinoids, showed the highest radical scavenging activity (IC50 of 152.9 μg/ml). On the contrary, C. annuum var. cerasiferum showed a significant antioxidant activity evaluated by the β-carotene bleaching test (IC50 of 3.1 μg/ml). The lipophilic fraction of both C. annuum var. acuminatum and C. annuum var. cerasiferum exhibited an interesting and selective inhibitory activity against α-amylase (IC50 of 6.9 and 20.1 μg/ml, respectively).


Capsicum annuum var. acuminatum small C. annuum var. cerasiferum Antioxidant activity α-amylase inhibition α-glucosidase inhibition 







Gas chromatography


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


Glucose oxidase peroxidase


Thin layer chromatography



The authors are grateful to Miceli s.r.l. (Italy) for supplying the pepper fruits.


  1. 1.
    Pérez-Jiménez J, Serrano J, Tabernero M, Arranz S, Díaz-Rubio ME, García-Diz L, Goñi I, Saura-Calixto F (2009) Bioavailability of phenolic antioxidants associated with dietary fiber: Plasma antioxidant capacity after acute and long-term intake in humans. Plant Food Hum Nutr 64:102–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rice-Evans CA, Miller J, Paganga G (1997) Antioxidant properties of phenolic compounds. Trends Plant Sci 2:152–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chakraborty R, Rajagopalan R (2002) Diabetes and insulin resistance associated disorders: Disease and the therapy. Curr Sci 83:1533–1538Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sharma AK (1993) Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complitions. In: Galadari EO, Behara I, Manchandra M, Abdulrazzaq SK, Mehra MK (eds) An update, 1st edn. Macmillan, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Venugopal SK, Devaraj S, Yang T, Jialal I (2002) α-Tocopherol decreases superoxide anion release in human monocytes under hyperglycemic conditions via inhibition of protein kinase C-α. Diabetes 51:3049–3054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hoffman PG, Lego MC, Galetto WG (1983) Separation and quantitation of red pepper major heat principles by reverse phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. J Agric Food Chem 31:1326–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Daood HG, Vinkler M, Markus F, Hebshi EA, Biacs PA (1996) Antioxidant vitamin content of spice red pepper (paprika) as affected by technological and varietal factors. Food Chem 55:365–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Krinsky NI (1994) The biological properties of carotenoids. Pure Appl Chem 66:1003–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Krinsky NI (2001) Carotenoids as antioxidants. Nutrition 17:815–817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Matsufuji H, Nakamura H, Chino M, Takeda M (1998) Antioxidant activity of capsantin and the fatty acid esters in paprika (Capsicum annuum). J Agric Food Chem 46:3468–3472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wachtel RE (1999) Capsaicin. Reg Anesth Pain Med 24:361–363Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sukrasno N, Yeoman MM (1993) Phenylpropanoid metabolism during growth and development of Capsicum frutescens fruits. Phytochemistry 32:839–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gao X, Ohlander M, Jeppsson N, Bjork L, Trajkovski V (2000) Changes in antioxidant effects and their relationship to phytonutrients in fruits of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) during maturation. J Agric Food Chem 48:1485–1490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wach A, Pyrzyska K, Biesaga M (2007) Quercetin content in some food and herbal samples. Food Chem 100:699–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Menichini F, Tundis R, Bonesi M, Loizzo MR, Conforti F, Statti G, de Cindio B, Houghton PJ, Menichini F (2009) The influence of fruit ripening on the phytochemical content and biological activity of Capsicum chinense Jacq. cv Habanero. Food Chem 114:553–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Loizzo MR, Said A, Tundis R, Hawas UW, Rashed K, Menichini F, Frega NG, Menichini F (2009) Antioxidant and antiproliferative activity of Diospyros lotus L. extract and isolated compounds. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 64:264–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Amin I, Zamaliah MM, Chin WF (2004) Total antioxidant activity and phenolic content in selected vegetables. Food Chem 87:581–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Willett WC, Sacks F, Trichopoulou A, Drescher G, Ferro-Luzzi A, Helsing E, Trichopoulos D (1995) Mediterranean diet pyramid: A rapid model for healthy eating. Am J Clin Nutr 61:1402S–1406SGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Saura-Calixto F, Goñi I (2009) Definition of the Mediterranean diet based on bioactive compounds. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 49:145–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cervato G, Carabelli M, Gervasio S, Cittera A, Cazzola R, Cestaro B (2000) Antioxidant properties of oregano (Origanum vulgare) leaf extracts. J Food Biochem 24:453–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Loizzo MR, Tundis R, Conforti F, Saab A, Statti GA, Menichini F (2007) Comparative chemical composition, antioxidant and hypoglycaemic activities of Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus L. berry and wood oils from Lebanon. Food Chem 105:572–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Loizzo MR, Tundis R, Menichini F, Statti GA, Menichini F (2008) Influence of ripening stage on health benefits properties of Capsicum annuum var. acuminatum L.: In vitro studies. J Med Food 11:184–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kevers C, Falkowski M, Tabart J, Defraigne JO, Dommes J, Pincemail J (2007) Evolution of antioxidant capacity during storage of selected fruits and vegetables. J Agric Food Chem 55:8596–8603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Howard LR, Talcott ST, Brenes CH, Villalon B (2000) Changes in phytochemical and antioxidant activity of selected pepper cultivars (Capsicum species) as influenced by maturity. J Agric Food Chem 48:1713–1720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim JS, Ahn J, Lee S-J, Moon BK, Ha T-Y, Kim S (2011) Phytochemicals and antioxidant activity of fruits and leaves of paprika (Capsicum annuum L., var. special) cultivated in Korea. J Food Sci 76:C193–C198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Peterson J, Dwyer J (1998) Taxonomic classification helps identify flavonoid-containing foods on a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. J Am Diet Assoc 98(677–682):685Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Collera-Zúñiga O, García-Jiménez F, Meléndez-Gordillo R (2005) Comparative study of carotenoid composition in three Mexican varieties of Capsicum annuum L. Food Chem 90:109–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Carmichael JK (1991) Treatment of herpes zoster and post herpetic neuralgia. Am Fam Physician 44:203–210Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schulzeck S, Wulf H (1997) Local therapy with capsaicin or ASS in chronic pain. Der Schmerz 11:345–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Loliger J (1991) The use of antioxidants in foods. In: Aruoma OI, Halliwell B (eds), Free Radicals and Food Additives. London: Taylor Francis, pp 121–150Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Velioglu YS, Mazza G, Gao L, Oomah BD (1998) Antioxidant activity and total phenolics in selected fruits, vegetables, and grain products. J Agric Food Chem 46:4113–4117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Katalinic V, Milos M, Kulisic T, Jukic M (2006) Screening of 70 medicinal plant extracts for antioxidant capacity and total phenols. Food Chem 94:550–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Conforti F, Statti GA, Menichini F (2007) Chemical and biological variability of hot pepper fruits (Capsicum annuum var. acuminatum L.) in relation to maturity stage. Food Chem 102:1096–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rosa A, Deiana M, Casu V, Paccagnini S, Appendino G, Ballero M, Dessi MA (2002) Antioxidant activity of capsinoids. J Agric Food Chem 50:7396–7401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Britton G, Liaaen-Jensen S, Pfander H (1995) Carotenoids today and challenges for the future. In: Britton G, Liaaen-Jensen S, Pfander H (eds), Carotenoids, vol. 1A: Isolation and Analysis. Basel-Boston-Berlin: Birkhäuser Verlag, pp 13–26Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tapiero H, Townsend DM, Tew KD (2004) The role of carotenoids in the prevention of human pathologies. Biomed Pharmacother 58:100–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Srinivasan K (2005) Plant foods in the management of diabetes mellitus: Spices as beneficial antidiabetic food adjuncts. Int J Food Sci Nutr 56:399–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Tundis
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Monica R. Loizzo
    • 1
  • Federica Menichini
    • 3
  • Marco Bonesi
    • 1
  • Filomena Conforti
    • 1
  • Giancarlo Statti
    • 1
  • Damiano De Luca
    • 4
  • Bruno de Cindio
    • 2
  • Francesco Menichini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy and Nutrition and Health SciencesUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Engineering ModelingUniversity of CalabriaArcavacata di RendeItaly
  3. 3.AIFA, Italian Medicines AgencyRomaItaly
  4. 4.CALAB, Laboratorio Chimico Merceologico della CalabriaMontalto UffugoItaly
  5. 5.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Nutrition and Health SciencesUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly

Personalised recommendations