Capsanthin is the main carotenoid in red pepper (Capsicum annuum).
Natural carotenoid extracts of pepper are available as food colours. Oleoresin of paprika is the oily extract of paprika, Capsicum annuum. The colour of a food product containing paprika may range from a deep red to a pale pinkish-yellow, depending on the concentrations used. The material can be used in salad dressings, sauces and particularly in meat products, including sausages, where it is allowed as an additive. It may be used in combination with annatto to dye processed cheese.
This oleoresin contains about 37 to 54 pigments depending on the mode of preparation (extract of unbleached or bleached paprika). The main pigments are in general esters of capsanthin and capsorubin. Most assay methods are therefore based on the determination of these two carotenoids.
According to a tradition, a lot of research is done in Hungary, where pepper is cultivated extensively.