A SCIENTIFIC REVIEW REGARDING HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHILLIES

Balázs Csaba KÁDÁR, Adriana PĂUCEAN, Simona MAN, Sevastița MUSTE, Simona CHIS, Anamaria POP

Abstract


Chillies are among the most well-known plant spices in the world. Originating from the South American continent, nowadays it is wildly spread in the culinary world, but it makes a great subject for medical research also. Chillies are part of the genus Capsicum, within the Solanaceae family, which includes approximately thirty-seven wild and five domesticated species: C. annum, C. frutescens, C. baccatum, C. chinense, and C. pubescens. Chillies and fermented chilli sauces differentiate mainly by pungency, which is due to the different content in specific alkaloids, commonly known as capsaicinoids. Peppers represent a good source of carotenoidic pigments which include β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthyn and two main compounds specific to pepper fruits: capsanthin and capsorubin. Beside these compounds, peppers are rich in vitamin C, phenols, tocopherols and other biologically active compounds. Fermented and unfermented chilli is also studied for its potential health benefits (anti-tumoral, anti-diabetic, etc.), whereas capsaicin in particular is considered to have antimicrobial/antifungal properties.

Keywords


chilli, fermented chilli, capsaicin, biomolecules, antimicrobial activity

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