How can you get green peppers

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“Green peppers are immature,” says Volker Henning from the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences. That is not to say that they are not suitable for consumption. “After all, we also eat unripe peas or beans.” The still unripe green peppers can be particularly crunchy, if a little bit tart. If you cut it open, small, flat seeds sit in the white septum. However, since it is immature, its seeds are not suitable for reproduction. They are not yet ready to germinate.

To be sure that a pepper is ripe, you have to wait for it to change color. Most peppers change color from green to red, yellow, or orange. “It's a question of variety,” says horticulturist Henning. "Their color depends on which dyes are formed in the course of ripening."

A sweet pepper owes its appearance mainly to the carotenoids. These pigments are known for the color of the carrots. But the color palette of the carotenoids ranges from yellow zeaxanthin in maize to capsanthin and capsorubin of fiery red chili peppers.

Plants can synthesize carotenoids themselves, but animals only ingest them through food. Many birds receive the color pigments for their colorful plumage in this way. For us, the carotenoids are above all healthy: They are precursors of vitamin A and help to ward off free oxygen radicals.

In a bell pepper, carotenoids are initially overlaid by the green chlorophyll. They only come to light during the ripening process, because then the nightshade plant breaks down the green coloring matter. In the case of piebald peppers, there are still residues of chlorophyll here and there. There are only a few types of peppers that produce almost no carotenoids at all. Their pods are pale yellow, almost white.

Green peppers are usually cheaper than red or yellow peppers because they are harvested earlier. This way, new fruits grow back faster. The farmer has to wait longer for the milder and sweeter red and yellow peppers, the yield is not that high.

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