Proximate, mineral and microbial assessment of fresh red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) from markets in Benin City metropolis and environs


  • AO Chime
  • RO Aiwansoba



Proximate, Mineral, Pepper, Microbial, Spoilage


Red pepper (Capsicum annuum L) is the most economically important species in the Capsicum genus. They belong to the nightshade family Solanaceae. It varies in shape, size, colour, flavour, heat level and nutritional properties. This study aims to determine the proximate, mineral and microbial assessment of fresh Capsicum annuum purchased from five different markets in Benin City metropolis and environs. A total of 25 pepper samples were purchased; standard biochemical methods were used to analyze their proximate composition.  The proximate composition included moisture (4.48±0.18 g/100g), ash (4.94±0.14 g/100g), carbohydrate (17.60±0.34 g/100g), protein (11.40±0.16 g/100g), fat (23.65±0.41 g/100g), crude protein (21.29±0.28 g/100g) and crude fibre (38.76±1.07 g/100g). Analysis of mineral element contents indicated that potassium was the most abundant (654.12±5.46 mg/100g), followed by magnesium (237.59 ±3.63 mg/100g), calcium (174.71±2.93 mg/100g), iron (17.49±0.25 mg/100g), sodium (12.38 ±0.12 mg/100g) and manganese (2.16±0.05 mg/100g). The microbial assessment of the pepper samples yielded eight microorganisms including Bacillus sp., Candida sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter sp. and Escherichia coli. Samples procured from Uselu market (32.1%) were the most contaminated with microorganisms while those from Oliha market (12.5%) were the least infected. Bacillus sp. and Staphylococcus aureus were the most prevalent microorganisms with each of them having a prevalence of 23.2%. Bacterial contamination was more than fungi in the fresh red pepper investigated. It was also observed that the environment in which these red peppers were kept contributed greatly to their spoilage. Results from this study show that pepper can be an important dietary supplement for improving human health, but care must be taken to prevent microbial contamination during handling and storage