Scientists develop variety packed with antioxidants
Scientists have developed a pepper that contains more vitamins and antioxidants than any other variety.
Just one ACE pepper – named after the vitamins it is rich in – contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and half that of A and E.
Ordinary varieties do contain high levels of vitamins C and A. But scientists have never before grown one with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help guard against cancer. This is because it is fat soluble and usually only found in fatty foods such as nuts and avocado.
The ACE pepper was discovered in Israel then developed by Marks & Spencer in Waltham Cross, Essex, where it is grown without pesticides. It is a much deeper red, and slightly longer than the bell peppers British shoppers are used to.
Dr Simon Coupe, a fresh-produce technologist for M&S, predicts the vegetable will supercede other peppers in the future. He said: ‘We spend a lot of time and effort roaming the world trying to find new and inventive products.
‘I would hope that in years to come we’d only be seeing this pepper as people become more healthy by boosting their vitamin levels. This is one of our healthiest products and it still tastes great, so I’m sure our customers will like it.’
M&S pepper specialist George Hebditch added: ‘It is fantastic to have developed a vegetable capable of supplying all the vitamin A,C and E we need for one day. ACE peppers have a lovely, sweet flavour as well as being extremely good for you.
‘As people become more health conscious, demand for fruit and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals has soared. We fully expect ACE peppers to be a hit with customers.’
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