14 February 2020
Piperine Content Of Different Peppers
Steenbergs has analysed the piperine content of different types of pepper, including true peppers (Piper spp.) and other berries that are used in cooking like pepper.
As part of Steenbergs ongoing research into spices, we recently commissioned Eurofins to analyse a range of different peppers for their piperine content, the key volatile oil in that peppery flavour. This included peppers from the true pepper family - the Piper species - and from a few different origins and types of pepper, i.e. black, green, white and red. To this, we included other peppers such as long pepper and cubeb pepper.
For curiosity, we arranged for other berries that are used like pepper in cooking to be likewise tested for piperine. So that was the Sichuan pepper style of peppers, such as Sansho, Sichuan and Timur pepper. Then , we included berries and other quasi-pepper fruits, such as pink peppercorns, Tasmanian pepper, passion berries from Ethiopia and uda pods from the Ivory Coast.
The results were as expected. Peppers include varying proportions of piperine, while the non-pepper berries have a much lower content of piperine. Interestingly, cubeb pepper had a low level of piperine at 0.1% in the volatile oils, but the main volatile in cubeb pepper is a a volatile oil called cubebine that comprises up to 15% of the volatile oils.
Table of Piperine in Volatile Oils of Different Berries
|Type of pepper or berry||Botanical name||Where from||Piperine in volatiles|
|Black peppercorn||Piper nigrum||Sri Lanka||6.3%|
|Green peppercorn||Piper nigrum||India||5.6%|
|Red peppercorn||Piper nigrum||India||4.3%|
|Red peppercorn (Phu Quoc pepper)||Piper nigrum||Vietnam||3.4%|
|White peppercorn (Penja pepper)||Piper nigrum||Cameroon||7.0%|
|White peppercorn||Piper nigrum||Sri Lanka||6.6%|
|Cubeb pepper (Tailed pepper)||Piper cubeba||Indonesia||0.1%|
|Long pepper||Piper longum||Indonesia||3.7%|
|Red long pepper||Piper retrofactum||Vietnam||4.5%|
|Voatsiperifery pepper||Piper borbonense||Madagascar||2.0%|
|Ma khaen berry (Indian pepper, Lemon pepper)||Zanthoxylum rhetsa||Laos||0.6%|
|Sansho pepper||Zanthoxylum piperitum||Japan||0.4%|
|Sichuan pepper||Zanthoxylum simulans||China||0.4%|
|Timur pepper (Sichuan pepper)||Zanthoxylum armatum||Nepal||0.3%|
|Allspice (Jamaican pepper)||Pimenta dioica||Guatemala||0.1%|
|Grains of paradise (Alligator pepper, Meligueta pepper)||Amamum melegueta||Ghana||0.1%|
|Mountain pepper (Tasmanian mountain pepper)||Tasmannia lanceolata||Australia||0.1%|
|Passion berry||Ruta chaelpensis||Ethiopia||0.9%|
|Pink peppercorn (Baie rose)||Schinus terebinthifolius||Madagascar||0.1%|
|Uda pod (Selim pepper)||Xylopia aethiopica||Ivory Coast||0.1%|
If anyone is interested in the more detailed table, please email us.