Piper nigrum, fruit of the Piperaceae plant.
The varieties of colors are due to the different time when the fruits are harvested and the different processing.
Black pepper, most common variety; fruits are picked as they are changing color from green to red. The drying process houses the basting. Black pepper is the hottest and richest in flavor.
White pepper; fruits are picked when fully ripe and soaked in salt water for about eight days, the husk is removed and the white seed remains.
Green pepper; the fruits are harvested while still unripe, and their color is preserved by using sulfur dioxide or preserving them in brine or vinegar.
Red pepper; is given from the fully ripe fruit and preserved in brine or vinegar
Grey pepper, is the mixture of white pepper and black pepper.
5 grams of pepper provides about 15 calories.
Fat is absent, while protein is present at a very low level.
High content of vitamin K (12%), good also vitamin C, as good is the content of manganese, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium.
A peppercorn contains terpenes, including limonene and Alpha and Beta pipene, steorides, lignans and flavones, such as quercetin and kaempferol. These substances are the substances that give the characteristic aroma and make up the essential oil that is obtained from the drupe.
Piperine is the alkaloid found in the piperidine fruit.
The spicy taste of pepper is not a real taste but it is due to the activation by piperine of particular proteins present in the cellular membrane that have the function to raise the temperature above a certain threshold. The spicy sensation is therefore virtual.