Other Constituents of Black Pepper

Starch is a predominant constituent of black pepper ranging from 35-40 per cent of its weight. There are no reports on the characterisation of the nature of starch present in pepper. The protein of pepper has not been investigated in any detail because pepper is used in only small amounts to flavour foods and hence not expected to contribute to nutritive value. Pepper contains fat ranging from 1.9-9.0 per cent. Bedi et al. (1971) and Salzer (1975) have determined the fatty acid composition. The major fatty acids are palmitic (16-30%), oleic (18-29%), linoleic (25-35%) and linolenic acid (8-19%). Recently Parmer et al. (1997) listed the following miscellaneous constituents from pepper: acetylcholine, caffeic acid, capric acid, choline, p-coumaric acid, p-and m-cresol, 2(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) ethanol, henriacontane, henriacontane-16-ol, henriacontane-16-one, lauric acid, melvalic acid, 3,4-methyleredioxy cinnamaldelyde, myristic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, phenyl acetic acid, piperonal, stearic acid, sterculic acid and vernolic acid.


Chemical investigations spanning over a century have contributed immensely to the understanding of this wonderful spice. But a last word has not been written. Further studies may in future reveal novel compounds. An area relatively neglected by the pepper chemists is that of the chemical diversity among cultivars. Detailed study of


14 2,4-dihydroxy phenyl ethanol 15 glycoside


-6-(n-ethyl amino) benzamide


14 2,4-dihydroxy phenyl ethanol 15 glycoside


-6-(n-ethyl amino) benzamide the flavour profiles and chemical composition will be helpful in locating lines having high flavour quality. Such lines can then be incorporated in breeding programmes to develop high yielding, high quality varieties. Such an approach calls for a close collaboration between the breeders and chemists.


[Note: For further information readers may refer the publications marked with (*)]

*Atal, C.K., Dhar, K.L., and Singh, J. (1975) Chemistry of Indian Piper. Lloydia, 38, 256-264

and the references cited therein. Bandyopadhayay, C., Narayan, V.S., and Variyar, P.S. (1990) Phenolics of green pepper berries

(Piper nigrum. L.) J. Agric. Food Chem., 38, 1696-1699. Bedi, K.L., Atal, C.K., and Achaya, K.T. (1971) Indian seed oils, VIII. Component fatty acids of seed fats of some Piperaceae. Lloydia, 34, 256-257. Debrauwere, J. and Verzele, M. (1975a) Constituents of pepper VI. Oxygenated fraction of pepper essential oil. Bull. Soc. Chem. Belg., 84, 167-177. Debrauwere, J. and Verzele, M. (1975b) New constituents of the oxygenated fraction of pepper essential oil. J. Sci. Food Agric., 26, 1887-1894. Debrauwere, J. and Verzele, M. (1976) The hydrocarbons of pepper essential oil. J. Chrom. Sci., 14, 296-298.

DelClyn, R. and Verzele, M. (1975) Constituents of peppers vii. Spectroscopic structure elucidation of piperine and its isomers. Bull. Soc. Chem. Belg., 84, 435-438. Genest, C., Smith, D.M., and Chapman, D.G. (1963) A critical study of two procedures for the determination of piperine in black and white pepper. J. Agric. Food Chem., 11, 508-512. Gopalakrishnan, M., Menon, N., Padmakumari, K.P., Jayalakshmi, A., and Narayanan, C.S. (1993) G C analysis and odor profiles of four new Indian genotypes of Piper nigrum L. J. Essential Oil Res., 5, 247-253. *Govindarajan, V.S. (1977) Pepper-Chemistry, Technology and Quality Evaluation. Critical

Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 9, 115-225, and the references cited therein. Grewe, R., Freist, W., Newmann, J., and Kersten, S. (1970) Uber die inhaltsstoffe des schwarzen pfeffers. Chem. Ber., 103, 3572-3580. Guenther, E. (1950) Essential oils of the plant family Piperaceae—In The Essential Oils, Vol. 5.

Robert Krieger Pub. Co. New York, pp. 135-161. Hasselstrom, T.F., Hewitt, E.J., Konigsbacher, K.S., and Ritter, J.J. (1957) Composition of oil of black pepper. J. Agric. Food Chem., 5, 53-55. Ikeda, R.N., Stanley, W.L., Vannier, S.H., and Spitler, F.M. (1962) The monoterpene composition of some essential oils. J. Food Sci., 27, 455-458. Inatani, R., Nakatani, Ni and Fuwa, H. (1981) Structure and synthesis of two new phenolic amides from Piper nigrum L. Agric. Biol. Chem., 45, 667-673. Jennings, W.G. and Wrolstad, R.E. (1961) Volatile constituents of black pepper. J. Food Sci., 26, 499.

*Lawrence, Brian (1981) Essential Oils 1979-1980. Allured Publishing Corporation, Illinois, U.S.A., 140-228.

Lewis, Y.S., Nambudiri, E.S., and Krishnamurthy, N. (1969) Composition of pepper oil. Perfum. Essent. Oil Rec., 60, 259-262.

Lewis, Y.S., Krishnamurthy, N., Nambudiri, E.S., Sankarikutty Amma, B., Shivashankar, S., and Mathew, A.G. (1976) The need for growing pepper cultivars to suit pepper products. Proc. Int. Sem. on Pepper, Spices Export Promotion Council, Cochin, India, pp. 4-8.

Mori, K., Yamamoto,Y., Tonari, K., and Komai, S. (1974) Studies on the pungent constituents of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) Photochemical changes of piperine (in Japanese English summary). J. FoodSci. Technol., 21, 466-472.

Muller, C.J. and Jennings, W.G. (1967) Constituents of black pepper. Some sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. J. Agric. Food Chem., 15, 762-766.

Muller, C.J., Creveling, R.K., and Jennings, W.G. (1968) Some minor sesquiterpene hydrocarbons of black pepper. J. Agric. Food Chem., 16, 113-117.

Nakatani, N., Inatani, R., and Fuwa, H. (1980) Structure and synthesis of two phenolic amides from Piper nigrum. Agric. Biol. Chem., 44, 2831-2836.

Nigam, M.D. and Handa, K.L. (1964) Constituents of essential oils. Indian Perfumer, 8, 15-17.

Oersted (1820) see Purseglove et al. (1981)

Ott, E. and Eichler, F. (1922) Naturliche und kunslische pfefferstoff. II. Uber das chavicin des Pfefferharzes den vorzuagsmeisen bestandtell des schwarzen Pfeffers. Chem. Ber., 55, 2653. (Govindarajan 1977)

Pangburn, R.M., Jennings, W.G., and Noelting, C.F. (1970) Preliminary examination of odour quality of black pepper oil. Flavour Ind., 1, 763.

*Parmar, V.S., Jain, S.C., Bisht, K.S., Jain, R., Taneja, P., Jha, A., Tyagi, O.D., Prasad, A.K., Wengel, J., Olsen, C.E. and Boll, P.M. (1977) Phytochemistry of the genus Piper. Phy-tochemistry, 46, 597-673.

Pruthi, J.S., Bhat, A.V., Kutty, S.K., Varkey, A.G., and Gopalakrishnan, M. (1976) Preservation of fresh green pepper by canning, bottling and other methods. Int. Sem. on Pepper, Spices Export Promotion Council of India, Cochin, pp 64-72.

* Purseglove, J.W., Brown, E.G., Green, C.L., and Robbins, S.R.J. (1981) Spices. Longman: New York, Vol. 1, 10-99.

Richard, H.M., Russel, G.F., and Jennings, W.G. (1971) The volatile components of black pepper varieties. J. Chromatogr. Sci., 9, 560-566.

Richard, H.M. and Jennings, W.G. (1971) Volatile composition of black pepper. J. Food Sci., 36, 584-589.

Russel, G.F. and Else, J. (1973) Volatile compositional differences between cultivars of black pepper (Piper nigrum). J.Assoc. off. Anal. Chem., 56, 344-351.

Salzer, U. (1975) Uber die Fettsaurezussamensetzung der lipoide einiger gewurze. Fette Stefen Anstrichm., 77, 446-450.

Sharma, N.L., Nigam, N.C., and Handa, K.L. (1962) Pepper husk oil. Perfuem. Kosmet, 43, 505-506.

Siddiqui, B.S., Begum, S., Gulzar, T., Farhat and Noor, F. (1997) An amide from fruits of Piper nigrum. Phytochemistry, 45, 1617-1619.

Spring, F.S. and Stark, J. (1950) Piperettine from Piper nigrum. L, its isolation, identification and synthesis II. J. Chem. Soc., 1177-1180.

Su, H.C.F. and Horvat, R. (1981) Isolation, identification and insecticidal properties of Piper nigrum amides. J. Agric. Food Chem., 29, 115-118.

Sumathikutty, M.A., Rajaraman, K., Sankarikutty, B., Narayanan, C.S., and Mathew, A.G. (1981) Piperine, Lebensm-Wiss.u.-Technol., 14, 225-228.

Traxler, J.T. (1981) Piperanine, a pungent compound of black pepper, J. Agric. Food Chem., 19, 1135-1138.

Variyar, P.S., Pendharkar, M.B., Banerjee, A., and Bandopadhayay, C. (1988) Blackening in green pepper berries. Phytochemistry, 27, 715-717.

Wealth of India (1969) Piper nigrum Linn. (Piperaceae) In the Wealth of India-Raw Materials, Vol. 8, Publications and Information Directorate, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, pp. 99-115.

Wrolstad, R.E. and Jennings, W.G. (1965) Volatile constituents of black pepper III. The monot-erpene hydrocarbon fraction. J. FoodSci., 30, 274-279.

Post Script: After this book has gone to press for final print, the following papers on Chemistry of Piper have appeared:

Jagella, T. and Grosch, W. (1999) flavour and off flavour compounds of black and white pepper (Piper nigrum L.).

1. Evaluation of potent odorants of black pepper by dilution and concentration techniques. Euro pean Food Res. Tech., 209, 16-21.

2. Odour activity values of desirable and undesirable odorants of black pepper. Ibid, 26-26.

3. Desirable and undesirable odorants of white pepper. Ibid, 27-31.

The following paper deals with the chemical composition of four related species.

Sumathykutty, M.A., Rao, J.M., Padmakumari, K.P. and Narayan, C.S. (1999) Essential oil constituents of some Piper species. Flavour and Fragrance J., 14, 279-282.

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