Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 2510–2520 | Cite as

Phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity of 63 Balkan pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) accessions

  • Petko DenevEmail author
  • Velichka Todorova
  • Manol Ognyanov
  • Yordan Georgiev
  • Irina Yanakieva
  • Ivanka Tringovska
  • Stanislava Grozeva
  • Dimitrina Kostova
Original Paper


In our study, we used the rich biodiversity of peppers in the Balkan region and characterized 63 pepper accessions from five cultivar types (Pungent; Sweet; Pumpkin; Kapia; For powder), in view of their phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity. The obtained results showed high variation in the compositional profiles between studied cultivar groups, as well within individual groups. Based on fresh weight (FW), the most abundant sugar in the studied accessions was glucose (0.36–3.79%), followed by fructose (0.16–2.98%). The accessions from “For powder” group were the richest source of uronic acids—0.77%, followed by accessions from “Pungent” group—0.64%. In four of the five groups, citric acid was the predominant organic acid, whereas only in the “Sweet” group, malic acid was the major representative of organic acid. The highest amount of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) was found in a genotype CAPS-7, which is in the group of “Pungent” accessions. The polyphenol content varied in a broad range from 42 mg/100 g FW to 266 mg/100 g FW. The differences in the flavonoid content were even more significant reaching 60-fold difference—from 1.0 mg/100 g FW to 64.3 mg/100 g FW. The accessions from the “For powder” group were leaders in regards to their total polyphenol and total flavonoid contents, as well as for their antioxidant activity, measured by ORAC and HORAC assays. This variation in fruit composition might be manipulated via plant breeding to create new pepper varieties with improved nutritional value of their fruits.


Capsicum annuum L. Sugars Organic acids Polyphenols Pectin Antioxidant activity 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the National Science Fund, Bulgaria [Grant DN06/4]. The authors VT, IT, SG and DK acknowledge the financial support by Horizon 2020 PlantaSYST project under Grant Agreement No 739582.


This study was funded by the National Science Fund of Bulgaria [Grant DN06/4]. The authors VT, IT, SG and DK acknowledge the financial support by Horizon 2020 PlantaSYST project under Grant Agreement No 739582.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary file1 (DOCX 20 kb)
11694_2019_171_MOESM2_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary file2 (DOCX 23 kb)
11694_2019_171_MOESM3_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary file3 (DOCX 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Biologically Active Substances, Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of PhytochemistryBulgarian Academy of SciencesPlovdivBulgaria
  2. 2.Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research InstitutePlovdivBulgaria
  3. 3.Center of Plant Systems Biology and BiotechnologyPlovdivBulgaria

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