Red Pepper


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Red Pepper is the dried, ripened fruit pod of Capsicum frutescens, one of the most pungent Capsicums. It is sometimes referred to as Cayenne Red Pepper, having been named after the high heat chilies grown in the vicinity of the Cayenne River in French Guiana.


Red Pepper adds heat and bite to seasoning blends, meats, pickles, seafood, Italian, Indian, Mexican, and Caribbean cuisines. Red Pepper is used in seasoned salt, chili powder, jerk, mole negro, and berbere seasoning blends.


Although there are numerous sources of Red Pepper, India, Pakistan, and China are the major producers. Varieties originating from these countries are among the hottest and most pungent types.


Early Spanish explorers found Red Pepper pods in the Caribbean while looking for true pepper berries. In innocent confusion or perhaps to save face, the Spaniards named their discovery "pepper." There is no relationship between the capsicum pods and the true pepper berries, but the misnomer "pepper" has stuck.

Quick Facts

Red Pepper Crushed Crushed Red Pepper
Red Pepper Ground Ground Red Pepper


Orange-red to deep red

Flavor & Aroma

Tobacco, hay-like, hot/pungent

Sensory Profile

Red Pepper is noted for its hot, sharp pungency. The heat is both a throat and a mouth heat. Its musty flavor combines with floral, spicy and hay-like notes to give Red Pepper its characteristic flavor profile.
Health Research
: MSI Funded
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied the effects of a behavioral intervention, which emphasized spices and herbs, on the maintenance of sodium intake at the recommended intake of 1500 mg/d.
Clinical research on the 24 hour effects of capsaicin in 25% negative energy balance.
A crossover study that examined the effects of acceptable doses of red pepper in food along with appetite and thermogenesis.

View more Red Pepper research