Introduction

Paprika is a potential new crop for production in Australia. It is from the genus Capsicum, which includes capsicums (bell peppers) and chillies. Condiment paprika is C. annuum covar. longum and it is characterised by having long, smooth, intensely deep red fruit with high dry matter content. The fruit is free of the chemical capsaicin—the pungent component of "hot" chillies.

The fruit can be harvested and sold as a vegetable, a sweet chilli.

However, the major world uses are for the production of condiment paprika, which is the dried fruit that is milled to a fine powder, or for the production of oleoresin (pigment) by extraction from the condiment paprika. With increased consumer and regulatory demand for use of natural food colouring and flavouring the market for condiment paprika and oleoresin can be predicted to grow. Condiment paprika is a spice and colouring agent used in home cooking and in food manufacture, while paprika oleoresin is widely used in the food canning and smallgoods processing industries. Paprika oleoresin can also be used as a colouring agent in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Paprika seed oil is a highly valued seed oil in Asian cuisine.

Potential production areas
Example of mature paprika fruit from the RIRDC-supported breeding program

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