Paprika, a spice widely used in kitchens worldwide, has recently become a topic of discussion as people uncover its true composition.1 Contrary to popular belief, paprika is made from dried sweet peppers that are carefully ground into a fine powder. In this article, we will delve into the origins of paprika, its production process, the varieties available, and its diverse culinary applications.
The production process of paprika involves carefully selecting and drying sweet peppers before grinding them into a fine powder. To create milder paprikas, the central core of the pepper is removed prior to drying and grinding. Paprika’s sugar content varies depending on the variety, and it contains more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Its pungency is attributed to capsaicin, a nitrogen compound that is generally lower in Capsicum annuum compared to other plants within the same genus. The ground pods yield oleoresin of paprika, an extracted coloring agent used to give processed foods, meat, and sausage products a vibrant red hue.