Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Black pepper

Black pepper: read about the differences between black, green, white, and red pepper in the link. Pepper owes its spicy heat primarily to the alkaloid piperine.
82/13/04  LA5:1ALA

Pepper, which originally comes from India and has been a favorite spice since Antiquity, decreased in popularity after the discovery of America. The hot chili peppers found there began to be used in place of pepper in many Asian dishes, and pepper was no longer the most important spicy seasoning.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn. When fresh and fully mature, it is approximately 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in diameter, dark red, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed. Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (ripe fruit seeds).” 

Nutritional value:

“Piperine is under study for its potential to increase absorption of selenium, vitamin B12, beta-carotene and curcumin, as well as other compounds. As a folk medicine, pepper appears in the Buddhist Samaññaphala Sutta, chapter five, as one of the few medicines allowed to be carried by a monk. Pepper contains phytochemicals, including amides, piperidines, pyrrolidines and trace amounts of safrole which may be carcinogenic in laboratory rodents.

Piperine is under study for a variety of possible physiological effects, although this work is preliminary and mechanisms of activity for piperine in the human body remain unknown.

One tablespoon (6 grams) of ground black pepper contains moderate amounts of vitamin K (13% of the daily value or DV), iron (10% DV) and manganese (18% DV), with trace amounts of other essential nutrients, protein and dietary fibre.”


“Pepper gets its spicy heat mostly from piperine derived both from the outer fruit and the seed. Black pepper contains between 4.6% and 9.7% piperine by mass, and white pepper slightly more than that.”


The different colors are a result of varying harvesting times and treatments.

  • Black pepper is produced from the still-green, unripe drupes of the pepper plant. The drupes are cooked briefly in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying. The heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes are dried in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dried, the spice is called black peppercorn.

  • Green pepper, like black, is made from the unripe drupes. Dried green peppercorns are treated in a way that retains the green colour, such as treatment with sulphur dioxide, canning or freeze-drying. Pickled peppercorns, also green, are unripe drupes preserved in brine or vinegar.

  • White pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant alone, with the darker-coloured skin of the pepper fruit removed. This is usually accomplished by a process known as retting, where fully ripe red pepper berries are soaked in water for about a week, during which the flesh of the pepper softens and decomposes. Rubbing then removes what remains of the fruit, and the naked seed is dried.

  • Orange pepper or red pepper usually consists of ripe red pepper drupes preserved in brine and vinegar. Ripe red peppercorns can also be dried using the same colour-preserving techniques used to produce green pepper. ... ”

Interesting facts:

“Peppercorns were a much-prized trade good, often referred to as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity money. The legacy of this trade remains in some Western legal systems which recognize the term "peppercorn rent" as a form of a token payment made for something that is in fact being given.”

Nutritional Information per 100g 2000 kCal
Energy 251 kcal12.6%
Fat/Lipids 3.3 g4.7%
Saturated Fats 1.4 g7.0%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber) 64 g23.7%
Sugars 0.64 g0.7%
Fiber 25 g101.2%
Protein (albumin) 10 g20.8%
Cooking Salt (Na:20.0 mg)51 mg2.1%
Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Protein (albumin)
Cooking Salt

Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal
MinManganese, Mn 13 mg638.0%
VitVitamin K 164 µg218.0%
MinCopper, Cu 1.3 mg133.0%
MinIron, Fe 9.7 mg69.0%
ElemPotassium, K 1'329 mg66.0%
ElemCalcium, Ca 443 mg55.0%
ElemMagnesium, Mg 171 mg46.0%
ProtLeucine (Leu, L) 1 g42.0%
ProtValine (Val, V) 0.55 g34.0%
ProtIsoleucine (Ile, I) 0.37 g30.0%

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids, (SC-PUFA) 2000 kCal
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0.15 g8.0%
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 0.69 g7.0%

Essential amino acids 2000 kCal
Leucine (Leu, L) 1 g42.0%
Valine (Val, V) 0.55 g34.0%
Isoleucine (Ile, I) 0.37 g30.0%
Phenylalanine (Phe, F) 0.45 g29.0%
Threonine (Thr, T) 0.24 g26.0%
Tryptophan (Trp, W) 0.06 g23.0%
Lysine (Lys, K) 0.24 g13.0%
Methionine (Met, M) 0.1 g10.0%

Vitamins 2000 kCal
Vitamin K 164 µg218.0%
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 1.4 mg23.0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.29 mg21.0%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.18 mg13.0%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.11 mg10.0%
Vitamin E, as a-TEs 1 mg9.0%
Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 17 µg9.0%
Niacin (née vitamin B3) 1.1 mg7.0%
Vitamin A, as RAE 27 µg3.0%
Vitamin D 0 µg< 0.1%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 0 mg< 0.1%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) 2000 kCal
Potassium, K 1'329 mg66.0%
Calcium, Ca 443 mg55.0%
Magnesium, Mg 171 mg46.0%
Phosphorus, P 158 mg23.0%
Sodium, Na 20 mg3.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) 2000 kCal
Manganese, Mn 13 mg638.0%
Copper, Cu 1.3 mg133.0%
Iron, Fe 9.7 mg69.0%
Zinc, Zn 1.2 mg12.0%
Selenium, Se 4.9 µg9.0%
Fluorine, F 34 µg1.0%