What is Paprika Oleoresins, and where is it used? Paprika oleoresins are concentrated extracts obtained from the dried red fruits of Capsicum Annuum, commonly known as paprika or sweet pepper . The extraction process involves grinding the dried fruits and extracting the pigments and flavour compounds using solvents like ethyl acetate or hexane [1-2]. The resulting oleoresins are thick, viscous liquids that contain a mixture of natural pigments, such as carotenoids, and volatile aromatic compounds. Paprika oleoresins are known for their vibrant red colour and characteristic flavour profile, which includes a mild sweetness and a subtle hint of spiciness. These properties make them a popular choice for adding not only colour, but also flavour, and aroma to a wide range of food and beverage products. Some common applications of paprika oleoresins include [3-4]:
Food Colouring: Paprika oleoresins are used to impart a natural red colour to various food items, including sauces, dressings, snacks, meats, and dairy products. They can be used as standalone colourants or in combination with other natural colourants to achieve desired shades.
Seasonings and Spices: Paprika oleoresins are often incorporated into spice blends and seasonings to enhance the flavour and aroma of dishes. They add depth and complexity to marinades, rubs, and spice mixes, providing a rich and smoky undertone.
Meat and Poultry Products: Due to their excellent heat stability, paprika oleoresins are commonly used in meat and poultry products to enhance the visual appeal of cooked or processed meats. They help create an appetising reddish-brown colour on the surface, giving the impression of well-cooked and flavorful meat.
Purported Health Implications
Aside from bringing colour to the snack pantry and the dinner table, paprika oleoresins may also provide health benefits to support digestion and boost overall health and well being.
Rich in Antioxidants [5-6]:
Paprika oleoresins are a rich source of natural antioxidants, including carotenoids such as beta-carotene and capsanthin. These antioxidants help protect your cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and supporting overall well-being. Including paprika oleoresins in your diet can boost your antioxidant intake and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Potential Anti-Inflammatory Effects :
Some studies suggest that the compounds found in paprika oleoresins may possess anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is associated with various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Consuming paprika oleoresins may help combat inflammation in the body, promoting a healthier immune system and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases.
Digestive Health Support [8-9]:
Paprika oleoresins contain compounds that may support digestive health. The natural compounds found in paprika, such as capsaicin, have been shown to stimulate gastric secretions and enhance digestion. They can help improve nutrient absorption, alleviate digestive discomfort, and promote a healthy gut. Incorporating paprika oleoresins into your meals can contribute to better digestion and overall gastrointestinal well-being.
Potential Weight Management Aid [10-12]:
The capsaicin content in paprika oleoresins has been linked to potential weight management benefits. Capsaicin has thermogenic properties, meaning it may increase metabolism and promote fat burning. Additionally, it may help reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness, leading to reduced calorie intake. Including paprika oleoresins in your meals can provide a flavorful and potentially beneficial addition to your weight management efforts.
Paprika oleoresins contain essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health. These include vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and various B vitamins . These nutrients play crucial roles in supporting immune function, promoting healthy skin, aiding in energy metabolism, and maintaining overall vitality.
Recommendations for Safe Consumption
Paprika oleoresins have a long history of safe use as food additives. However, it is essential to consider certain aspects regarding their safety:
Allergic Reactions: While rare, individuals with known allergies to paprika or other members of the Capsicum family may experience allergic reactions when consuming products containing paprika oleoresins . It is recommended to check product labels and consult with healthcare professionals if allergic concerns exist.
Regulatory Approval: Paprika oleoresins, as E160c, have been approved for use as a food additive by regulatory authorities such as Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [14-16]. Specific guidelines and maximum permitted levels for their use in different food categories are in place to ensure their safe consumption.
Adherence to Recommended Limits: As with any food additive, it is crucial to use paprika oleoresins within the recommended limits to ensure their safety. Food manufacturers are responsible for complying with regulatory standards and performing rigorous quality control measures to maintain the integrity of the products. Therefore those who are not allergic, insensitive, or intolerant to paprika oleoresins, should not be concerned about its use as a food additive.
Jaren-Galan M, Nienaber U, Schwartz SJ. Paprika (Capsicum annuum) oleoresin extraction with supercritical carbon dioxide. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 1999 Sep 20;47(9):3558-64.
Johnson Jr W. Final report on the safety assessment of capsicum annuum extract, capsicum annuum fruit extract, capsicum annuum resin, capsicum annuum fruit powder, capsicum frutescens fruit, capsicum frutescens fruit extract, capsicum frutescens resin, and capsaicin. International journal of toxicology. 2007.
Procopio FR, Ferraz MC, Paulino BN, do Amaral Sobral PJ, Hubinger MD. Spice oleoresins as value-added ingredient for food industry: Recent advances and perspectives. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2022 Apr 1;122:123-39.
Silva MM, Reboredo FH, Lidon FC. Food colour additives: A synoptical overview on their chemical properties, applications in food products, and health side effects. Foods. 2022 Jan 28;11(3):379.
Ferraz MC, Procópio FR, de Figueiredo Furtado G, Moya AM, Cazarin CB, Hubinger MD. Cinnamon and paprika oleoresin emulsions: A study of physicochemical stability and antioxidant synergism. Food Research International. 2021 Dec 1;150:110777.
Nadeem M, Anjum FM, Khan MR, Saeed M, Riaz A. Antioxidant potential of bell pepper (Capsicum annum L.)-A review. Pakistan Journal of Food Science. 2011;21(1-4):45-51.
Liu Y, Song M, Che TM, Bravo D, Pettigrew JE. Anti-inflammatory effects of several plant extracts on porcine alveolar macrophages in vitro. Journal of Animal Science. 2012 Aug 1;90(8):2774-83.
Ebeneezar S, Prabu DL, Chandrasekar S, Tejpal CS, Madhu K, Sayooj P, Vijayagopal P. Evaluation of dietary oleoresins on the enhancement of skin coloration and growth in the marine ornamental clown fish, Amphiprion ocellaris (Cuvier, 1830). Aquaculture. 2020 Dec 15;529:735728.
Ferraz MC, Júnior FD, Barroso LA, de Figueiredo Furtado G, Cunha RL, Hubinger MD. Co-encapsulation of paprika and cinnamon oleoresins by spray drying in a mayonnaise model: bioaccessibility of carotenoids using in vitro digestion.
Joseph A, Johannah NM, Kumar S, Maliakel B, Krishnakumar IM. Safety assessment of a fenugreek dietary fiber-based formulation of capsaicinoids-rich red chili (Capsicum annum) extract (Capsifen®): Acute and sub-chronic studies. Toxicology Reports. 2020 Jan 1;7:602-9.
Rogers J, Urbina SL, Taylor LW, Wilborn CD, Purpura M, Jäger R, Juturu V. Capsaicinoids supplementation decreases percent body fat and fat mass: Adjustment using covariates in a post hoc analysis. BMC obesity. 2018 Dec;5:1-0.
Vermaak I, Viljoen AM, Hamman JH. Natural products in anti-obesity therapy. Natural product reports. 2011;28(9):1493-533.
Lucas CD, Hallagan JB, Taylor SL. The role of natural color additives in food allergy.
Food additives -numerical list [Internet]. Available from: https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/additiveoverview/Documents/Food%20Additive%20Code%20Numbers%20%28July%202014%29.pdf
Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of paprika extract (E 160c) as a food additive | EFSA [Internet]. www.efsa.europa.eu. Available from: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4320
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 [Internet]. www.accessdata.fda.gov. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=73.345
We do our best to source robust information from a number of credible sources. There is, however, a large amount of information on various aspects of nutritional elements along with claims in terms of their contribution to helping in body health which may contradict the above.