Capsicum Annuum Fruit Extract

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes capsicum (capsicum frutescens or capsicum annuum on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as direct food additives. They are GRAS spices and other natural seasonings and flavorings, and GRAS essential oleoresins and natural extractives. Capsicum, capsicum resin and capsaicin are also approved for use as counterirritants in Over-The-Counter (OTC) external analgesic drug products. The safety of capsicum-derived ingredients has been assessed by the Expert Panel for Ingredient Safety. The Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that capsaicin, capsicum annuum extract, capsicum annuum fruit extract, capsicum annuum resin, capsicum annuum fruit powder, capsicum frutescens Fruit, capsicum frutescens fruit extract and capsicum frutescens resin were safe as cosmetics ingredients when formulated not to be irritating.

The Expert Panel acknowledged the large amount of data on capsaicin. They noted the wide use of hot peppers as food, and this use as well as oral laboratory studies supported the lack of systemic effects following dietary exposure to hot peppers. An ethanol extract of red chili was mutagenic in one strain of S. typhimurium, but not in another strain, or in E. coli.

Capsaicin and extracts from hot peppers have been shown to be irritating to mucosal tissues, including the stomach, as well as the skin. A skin irritation test of capsicum annuum fruit extract at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 1.0% produced no irritation. Clinical findings include symptoms of cough, sneezing and runny nose in chili factory workers. Human respiratory responses to capsicum oleoresin spray include burning of the throat, wheezing, dry cough, shortness of breath, gaging, gasping, inability to breathe or speak, and, rarely, cyanosis, apnea, and respiratory arrest.

A trade name mixture containing 1 to 5% capsicum frutescens fruit extract induced very slight erythema in one of ten volunteers patch tested for 48 hours. Capsicum frutescens fruit extract at 0.025% in a repeated insult patch test using 103 subjects resulted in no clinically meaningful irritation or allergic contact dermatitis. One epidemiological study indicated that chili pepper consumption may be a strong risk factor for gastric cancer in populations with high intakes of chili pepper; however, other studies did not find this association. The Expert Panel noted that n-nitroso compounds had been detected in a number of pepper samples, and recommended that the derivatives of capsicum not be used in products where N-nitroso compounds may be formed.

More information about nitrosamines.

Link to the FDA Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register for capsicum (capsicum furtescens or Capsicum annuum) and capsaicin

The capsicum-derived ingredients may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…


Capsicum Annuum Fruit Extract

What Is It?

Capscium annuum extract, capscium annuum fruit extract, capsicum annuum resin, capsicum annuum fruit powder, capsicum frutescens fruit, capsicum frutescens fruit extract and capsicum frutescens resin are derived from the plant or the fruit of hot peppers. Capsicum fruit extracts and resins vary from yellowish to reddish-brown viscous liquids. Capsaicin is a compound that is isolated from hot peppers.

Why Is It Used?

The following functions have been reported for the Capsicum-derived ingredients.


Scientific Facts

Capsicum extracts, fruit extracts, and resins are derived from the plant, fruit or dried fruit, respectively, of capsicum annuum or capsicum frutescens. Capsicum frutescens resin is also referred to as capsicum oleoresin. Capsaicin, isolated from hot peppers, is the compound responsible for the burning feeling when you eat hot peppers.

The capsicum-derived ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products, may be extracted using hexane, ethanol, or vegetable oil and contain the full range of phytocompounds that are found in the capsicum annuum or capsicum frutescens fruit, including capsaicin. In cosmetics and personal care products, capsicum-derived ingredients function primarily as skin-conditioning agents – miscellaneous.