Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Pepper family is normally consumed as a spice. But, in some cultures, its fruit is used as whole foods. The family has well over 25 members, but this discussion is limited to black pepper.
Hydroponics of Pepper
Hydroponic cultivation of pepper requires four things. A pack of seeds and the following:
The hydroponic DWS system, also known as deep water culture, is commonly used for growing hydroponic peppers.
For optimum growth, pepper requires at least 14-18 hours of light. For indoor purposes, LED lights make a good substitute for sunlight.
The application of silicon has a positive stimulatory effect on the growth and protein content of pepper. (Trejo-Téllez, García-Jiménez, & Escobar-Sepúlveda, 2020)
Moreover, the application of NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer up to 400Kg/ha increases the number and weight of pepper fruit.
Piper nigrum, also known as the king of spices, has a long-standing history of use in culinary preparations because of its savory taste and health benefits.
Nutritional Profile of Black Pepper
The nutritional profile of black pepper boasts abundant quantities of carbohydrates and fibers. The other major constituents are proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins. (FoodData Central, 2018)
The Carbohydrate content of the spice includes about 25g of dietary fibers and less than 1% monosaccharides.
Black pepper contains many essential and non-essential amino acids that weigh around 10-11g, while the fat is only 1/3rd of that amount.
Metabolically active minerals like zinc, calcium, sodium, potassium, etc., constitute the mineral makeup of black pepper.
Black is rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A. Other worthy mentions are vitamin K, vitamin B5, and folate.
Health Benefits of Pepper
The active ingredient of black pepper, piperine, has the ability to control the progression of the tumor. (Srinavasan, 2007)
Improved Brain Functionality
Black pepper improves brain functionality by tweaking the gastrointestinal tract and boosting the rate of nutrient absorption. (Butt, Pasha, & Sultan, 2013)
Chemistry of Pepper
The characteristic pungent smell of pepper is derived from a compound called piperine. Several other substances like α–terpineol, acetophenone, nerol and, citral also contribute to its aroma and flavor. (Meghwal & Goswami, 2012)
Apart from that, a host of essential oils like sabinene, pinene, linalool, and limonene are responsible for the health benefits of black pepper.
Butt, M. S., Pasha, I., & Sultan, M. T. (2013). Black pepper and health claims: a comprehensive treatise. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 875-86. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2011.571799
FoodData Central. (2018, April). Retrieved from U.S. Department of Agriculture: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170931/nutrients
Meghwal, M., & Goswami, T. (2012). Chemical Composition, Nutritional, Medicinal And Functional Properties. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/scientificreports.172
Srinavasan, K. (2007). Black pepper and its pungent principle-piperine: a review of diverse physiological effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 735-48. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/10408390601062054
Trejo-Téllez, L. I., García-Jiménez, A., & Escobar-Sepúlveda, H. F. (2020, June 9). Silicon induces hormetic dose-response effects on growth and concentrations of chlorophylls, amino acids and sugars in pepper plants during the early developmental stage. PeerJ. doi:https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9224