Does paprika have capsaicin?

In this brief article, we will answer the question of whether paprika has capsaicin and explain its seven health benefits.

Does paprika have capsaicin?

Yes, some varieties of Capsicum annuum L. also contain capsaicinoids, which add a hot-spicy taste to the product. 

Because the colorful carotenoids in paprika extracts are also powerful antioxidants, the addition of paprika or pepper powders is also used to enhance the oxidative stability of lipids and proteins in meat patties (1)

What is Paprika?

Paprika (in Spanish referred to as ‘‘pimentón’’) is a powdered spice with a deep orange-red color and a characteristic non-pungent flavor resulting from the dried and ground fruits of certain varieties of pepper (Capsicum annuum L. belonging to the family Solanaceae).

It is a universal seasoning and used in many areas of the world as a spice. It is a combination of dried peppers from the Capsicum annuum family. It has both sweet and hot peppers and has a striking crimson-red is used as seasoning, garnishing, and adding colors to your food. (2)

What factors affect the quality of paprika?

The main trait that determines the quality of paprika is its bright red color, which is determined by the total carotenoid content present in the fruit. The total carotenoid content could vary widely depending on the species and other external factors such as maturity, climate, and cultivation circumstances. (3)

 Its seasoning power i.e., capsaicin content, its particle size and water content are also important quality parameters.  Additional but less important quality criteria are the ash contents, non-volatile ether extracts and raw fiber. (4)

What are the levels of Capsaicin in Paprika?

The environment and specifically the climate, light, and temperature during growing of the plant and ripening of the fruit are thought to have an impact on capsaicinoid levels.

Processing after harvesting also plays an important role, especially drying conditions, and the amount of seeds included has an influence on pungency, although the main concern is the stability of color and aroma

Capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and nordihydrocapsaicin are the most important capsaicinoids, which are responsible for pungency. Attempts to influence capsaicinoid contents have focused on genetic, agricultural, and technological aspects. (5)

What are the Health benefits of Paprika and Capsaicin?

Paprika contains capsaicin, a compound found in peppers that has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits. For example, it has antioxidant properties, can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, improve immunity, and even alleviate gas.

In addition, paprika can provide other health benefits like pain relief as capsaicin has been shown to have analgesic effects, and it is used therapeutically for pain management. Some topical pain treatments include capsaicin as an ingredient.

The capsaicin in paprika may have anti-obesity and appetite-suppressing properties. Studies have shown that it improves fat metabolism, especially the oxidation of abdominal fat. Capsaicin may also reduce appetite and caloric intake when incorporated as part of a healthy diet.

Other compounds in paprika called xanthophylls also show the ability to reduce abdominal fat.

Incorporating paprika into your diet may also help protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, dietary paprika xanthophylls suppressed UV-induced skin damage.

Several studies also point to the anti-cancer effects of capsaicin. Incorporating capsaicin-containing paprika into your diet may provide protection against a wide variety of cancers. (6)

What are the Side Effects of Capsaicin consumption?

Capsaicin is often referred to as a “double-edged sword” due to its potential carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and genotoxic effects. The acute toxicity of capsaicin varies depending on the animal species and the method of administration.

However, the presence of the pain and pungent sensation caused by capsaicin in fruits acts as a deterrent against excessive consumption of this spice. (7, 8)

Other FAQs about Paprika which you may be interested in.

Can paprika go bad?


In this brief article, we have answered the question does paprika have capsaicin and explained seven health benefits of Capsaicin


  1. Pöhnl, H. Applications of Different Curing Approaches and Natural Colorants in Meat Products. Handbook on Natural Pigments in Food and Beverages, 209–225. 2016.
  2. Melo González, M. G., Romero, S. M., Arjona, M., Larumbe, A. G., & Vaamonde, G. Microbiological quality of Argentinian paprika. Revista Argentina de Microbiología, 49(4), 339–346. 2017.
  3. Febin Pappachan, Amaya Suku, Sreejith Mohanan, Chapter 10 – Rosmarinus officinalis, Herbs, Spices and Their Roles in Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Academic Press, 149-170,2023,
  4. Ramesh, M. ., Wolf, W., Tevini, D., & Jung, G. Influence of processing parameters on the drying of spice paprika. Journal of Food Engineering, 49(1), 63–72. 2001.
  5. Kirschbaum-Titze, P., Hiepler, C., Mueller-Seitz, E., & Petz, M. Pungency in Paprika (Capsicum annuum). 1. Decrease of Capsaicinoid Content Following Cellular Disruption. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 50(5), 1260–1263. 2002.
  6. WebMD Editorial Contributors, Poonam Sachdev, Health Benefits of Paprika. WebMD LLC, 2022.
  7. Burcu Guldiken, Gizem Catalkaya, Gulay Ozkan, Fatma Duygu Ceylan, Esra Capanoglu, Chapter 21 – Toxicological effects of commonly used herbs and spices, Toxicology, Academic Press,  201-213, 2021.
  8. Glinsukon, T., Stitmunnaithum, V., Toskulkao, C., Buranawuti, T., & Tangkrisanavinont, V.  Acute toxicity of capsaicin in several animal species. Toxicon, 18(2), 215–220. 1980.