Pepper growing inside pepper

Eating Pepper Seeds: The Fact And Fiction

Pepper seeds have a bad reputation, at least when it comes to hot peppers. Many believe that the seeds can make a dish too hot, for example. As we will find out below, that is not necessarily the case. We will also look at a few other common questions about pepper seeds and whether they are safe to eat.

Is it safe to eat pepper seeds or should you remove them before eating?

In other words, are pepper seeds toxic? No, pepper seeds are not toxic but you may still want to remove them before eating. Pepper seeds are slightly bitter, but not so bitter that they will ruin a dish in most cases; however, you may want to remove them if you are using a large number of peppers. A lot of seeds may have an unpleasant effect on the taste of the dish.

Aside from the bitterness issue, pepper seeds don’t really add anything to a dish so most cooks take them out. Something that you should consider is the mouthfeel. Aside from the flavor and toxicity angle, it may be annoying to have small, hard bits in a dish. That’s especially true if that dish should have a smooth mouthfeel. You may want to take them out for improved texture. You can either take them out when getting your peppers ready to cook or strain them out of the finished dish in the case of a soup or sauce.

Some hot sauces like sambal oelek and crushed red pepper flakes contain the seeds, but this is mostly for enhancing the condiment’s appearance.

Does keeping pepper seeds in a chili make the dish hotter?

Pepper seeds on their own won’t make your chili hotter but you might not know that if all your cookbooks are older. The reason is that for a long time, people were convinced that the seeds were the source of the hot pepper’s heat. They believed that the seed kernel held the highest concentration of capsaicin. Many older recipes advised cooks to remove seeds to lower hot pepper heat.

The idea that pepper seeds are full of capsaicin has long been debunked. These days, we know that capsaicin is concentrated in the pale membrane (also called the pith) that connects the seeds to the walls of the pepper. If you want to lessen the heat of your chili, you should — while wearing gloves — cut the whitish membrane out of the pepper and discard it. Use only the colored walls of the pepper pod.

Even when preparing mild peppers like bell peppers, you should consider removing the membrane as it can be bitter and has a cottony texture.

Pepper seeds do contain a little capsaicin and can deliver a small spark as you can tell if you chew one separate from the pepper itself, but the heat level is low.

Do pepper seeds provide any benefits?

There is not a lot of information on the nutritional value of pepper seeds, but there is at least one study on bell pepper seeds stating that they are loaded with nutrients. The study found that pepper seeds are rich minerals like potassium and also provide protein and linoleic acid. Beyond that, they are also sources of fiber. Unfortunately, they also contain antinutritional compounds like phytic acid and tannins.

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal


The purpose of the study was to investigate preschool children s views and attitudes concerning their transition into primary school. The research was conducted in Reykjavik, Iceland, using group interviews with 5- and 6-year-old children. The results show that many of the participating children had the image of school as a place where children sat quietly at their desks learning how to read, write, and do mathematics. The children were preoccupied with the ways in which the primary school would be different from preschool. They also saw learning the customs of the school, the school rules, and how to behave in school as an important part of what they would be learning in first grade. Many of the children seemed excited and looked forward to starting school while others worried about not being able to meet the school s expectations.


L ‘objet de l’étude était d ‘examiner les opinions et attitudes des enfants d âge préscolaire au sujet de leur passage à l’école élémentaire. La recherche à été conduite à Reykjavik, Islande, et s’est appuyée sur des entretiens collectifs avec des enfants de 5 et 6 ans. Les résultats montrent que la plupart des enfants qui ont participé pensent l’école comme un endroit où les enfants sont assis silencieusement à leurs pupitres, et apprenent à lire, écrire et faire >des maths. Les enfants étaient préoccupés par les différences entre l’école élémentaire et la maternelle. Ils trouvaient aussi qu ‘apprendre les coutumes de l’école, les règlements intérieurs et la façon de se conduire à l’école constituent une partie importante de ce qu ‘ils auraient à apprendre au cours préparatoire. Si la plupart des enfants semblent excités et impatients de d’entrer à la grande école, certains s’inquiètent à l’idée de ne pas répondre à ses atientes.


Das Ziel der Studie bestand darin, die Ansichten und Einstellungen von Vorschulkindern zu ihrem Übergang in die Grundschule zu untersuchen. Die Untersuchungen dazu wurden in Reykjavik, Island, vorgenommen, wobei Gruppeninterviews mit 5- und 6-jährigen Kindern verwendet wurden. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass viele der beteiligten Kinder ein Bild von der Schule hatten als einem Ort, an dem die Kinder still an ihren Bänken sitzen und lesen, schreiben und rechnen lernen. Die Kinder waren vordringlich damit beschäftigt, auf welche Weise sich die Grundschule von der Vorschule unterscheiden würde. Sie sahen das Erlernen der schulischen Gebräuche, der Schulregeln und des in der Schule erforderlichen Verhaltens als wichtigen Bestandteil dessen an, was sie in der ersten Klasse lernen würden. Viele der Kinder schienen aufgeregt zu sein und freuten sich auf den Schulbeginn, während sich andere besorgt darüber zeigten, die Erwartungen der Schule evtl. nicht erfüllen zu können.


Este estudio pretende investigar las opiniones y las actitudes de los niños pre-escolares acerca de su transición a la escuela primaria. La investigación se llevó a cabo en Reykjavik, Islandia, y utilizó entrevistas en grupo con niños de cinco y seis años de edad. Los resultados demuestran que muchos de los niños participantes tenían la imagen de la escuela como un lugar donde los niños se quedaban sentados en los pupitres aprendiendo a leer, a escribir y a hacer matemáticas. A los niños les preocupaba cómo y de qué maneras la escuela primaria se diferenciaría de la pre-escolar. También consideraban que aprender las costumbres de la escuela, el reglamento escolar y cómo comportarse en la escuela constituían una parte importante de lo que estarían aprendiendo durante el primer curso. Muchos de los niños parecían entusiasmados y les hacía mucha ilusión el empezar a estudiar en la escuela primaria mientras que a otros les preocupaba el pensar que no podrían cumplir con las expectativas de la escuela.

Little Pepper Inside Pepper – Reasons For Pepper Growing In A Pepper

Have you ever cut into a bell pepper and found a little pepper inside the larger pepper? This is a fairly common occurrence, but you may be wondering, “Why is there a small pepper in my bell pepper?” Read on to find out what causes a pepper with baby pepper inside.

Why is There a Small Pepper in My Bell Pepper?

This little pepper inside a pepper is referred to as an internal proliferation and varies from an irregular fruit to an almost carbon copy of the larger pepper. In either case, the little fruit is sterile and its cause is possibly genetic or it may be due to rapid temperature or humidity fluxes, or even because of the ethylene gas used to hasten ripening. What is known is that it shows up in seed lines through natural selection and is unaffected by weather, pests, or other external conditions.

Does this confuse you even more as to why you have a pepper with a baby pepper inside? You aren’t alone. Little new information has come to light as to why a pepper is growing in another pepper in the last 50 years. This phenomenon has been of interest for many years, however, and was written about in the 1891 Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club newsletter.

Pepper Growing in a Pepper Phenomenon

Internal proliferation occurs among many seeded fruits from tomatoes, eggplants, citrus and more. It seems to be most common in fruit that has been picked unripe and then artificially ripened (ethylene gas) for the market.

During the normal development of bell peppers, seeds develop from fertilized structures or ovules. There are a multitude of ovules within the pepper which turn into tiny seeds that we discard before eating the fruit. When a pepper ovule gets a wild hair, it develops an internal proliferation, or carpelloid formation, which more resembles the parent pepper rather than a seed.

Normally, fruit forms if ovules have been fertilized and are developing into seeds. On occasion, a process called parthenocarpy occurs wherein the fruit forms with an absence of seeds. There is some evidence that suggests there is a correlation between the parasitic pepper inside a pepper. Internal proliferations most often develop in the absence of fertilization when the carpelloid structure mimics the role of seeds resulting in parthenocarpic pepper growth.

Parthenocarpy is already responsible for seedless oranges and the lack of large, unpleasant seeds in bananas. Understanding its role in engendering parasitic peppers may end up creating seedless pepper varieties.

Whatever the exact cause, commercial growers consider this an undesirable trait and tend to select newer cultivars for cultivation. The pepper baby, or parasitic twin, is perfectly edible, however, so it’s almost like getting more bang for your buck. I suggest just eating the little pepper inside a pepper and continue to marvel at the strange mysteries of nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?

A vegetable is the edible portion of a plant. Vegetables are usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is eaten such as leaves (lettuce), stem (celery), roots (carrot), tubers (potato), bulbs (onion) and flowers (broccoli).

A fruit is the mature ovary of a plant. So a tomato is botanically a fruit but is commonly considered a vegetable. According to this definition squash, pepper and eggplants are also fruits. Then there are seeds such as peas which are also considered vegetables.

The Funk & Wagnalls Multimedia Encyclopedia has the following definitions:

Vegetable, the edible product of a herbaceous plant-that is, a plant with a soft stem, as distinguished from the edible nuts and fruits produced by plants with woody stems such as shrubs and trees. Vegetables can be grouped according to the edible part of each plant: leaves (lettuce), stalks (celery), roots (carrot), tubers (potato), bulbs (onion), and flowers (broccoli). In addition, fruits such as the tomato and seeds such as the pea are commonly considered vegetables.

Fruit, mature ovary in flowering plants, together with all inseparably connected parts of the flower. In strict botanical usage, the meaning may be restricted to the ovary alone. Commonly the term fruit is often restricted to succulent, edible fruits of woody plants, to melons, and to such small fruits as strawberries and blueberries. In nature, fruit is normally produced only after fertilization of ovules has taken place, but in many plants, largely cultivated varieties such as seedless citrus fruits, bananas, and cucumbers, fruit matures without fertilization, a process known as parthenocarpy. In either case, the maturation of the ovary results in the withering of stigmas and anthers and enlargement of the ovary or ovaries. Ovules within fertilized ovaries develop to produce seeds. In unfertilized varieties, seeds fail to develop, and the ovules remain their original size. The major service performed by fruit is the protection of developing seeds. In many plants, fruit also aids in seed distribution.

2. How can you tell when a watermelon is ripe?

From the publication “Watermelon Production in California“: The criteria for picking watermelons include color change (the most reliable), blossom end conditions, and rind roughness. Watermelons do not separate from the vine when ripe; a sharp knife is used to cut melons from the vines. Melons pulled from the vine may crack open.

From “Home garden watermelons”: To test melons for ripeness, rap the side of the fruit with your knuckles. A light or metallic sound means that the fruit is still green; a dull sound means it is ripe. This is most reliable in the early morning. During the heat of the day or after melons have been picked for some time, they all sound ripe. Fruits have a “ground spot” where they rest on the ground; this spot turns slightly yellow as the fruit matures. Watermelons tend to become rough as they mature. The tendrils closest to the fruit darken and dry up as the fruit ripens. Do not pull melons off the vine; use a sharp knife for cutting.

3. The leaves of my tomato plants are curled, the stems have bumps and the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off. Is something wrong?

This describes a normal tomato plant. It is natural for the leaves of tomato plants to curl under. The bumps on the stalk are normal and many tomatoes have them. They are actually nodes and if the stem were placed in a glass of water roots would grow out of the nodes. The lower leaves of the tomato plant usually turn yellow and fall off as the plant grows up.

4. The fruit on my zucchini plant do not grow but instead shrivel up and fall off. What is wrong?

Squash, cucumber and melons require insects, usually honeybees, to pollinate the flowers. When no insects are available, the fruit is not pollinated and so it shrivels up and falls off the plant. When no bees are present in the garden or the bee
population is too low for good fruit set, the dedicated gardener can substitute for the bee by pollinating by hand. Hand pollination is a tedious chore, but it is the only means of obtaining fruit set in the absence of bees.

The pollen is yellow in color and produced on the structure in the center of the male flower. You can use a small artist’s paintbrush to transfer pollen, or you can break off a male flower, remove its petals to expose the pollen-bearing structure, and roll the pollen onto the stigma in the center of the female flower. When hand pollinating, it is important to use only freshly opened flowers. Flowers open early in the morning and are receptive for only one day.

The female flower in cucurbits can be recognized easily by the presence of a miniature fruit (ovary) at the base of the flower. Female squash flowers are much larger than the female flowers on melon and cucumber plants. The male squash flower can be identified by its long, slender stem. The female squash flower is borne on a very short stem.

In melons and cucumbers, male flowers have very short stems and are borne in clusters of three to five, while the females are borne singly on somewhat longer stems.

For more detailed information read the publication “Fruit Set Problems in Squash, Melons, and Cucumbers In Home Gardens.”

Contact Us

Mailing address:
UC Vegetable Research & Information Center
Dept. of Plant Sciences, Mailstop 4
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Phone: (530) 752-1748
E-mail: [email protected]

Have you ever found a pepper inside a pepper?

Gardeners, much like Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” can count on the kindness of strangers. The strangers in this case were a half-dozen botanists. The kindness was answering a question: What is the term for the small pepper that sometimes grows inside a bell pepper? And what causes it?

I searched the library and the Web before I sought help, so it made me feel better when most of the experts came up empty-handed.

The answer eventually came from John Stommel, a researcher in the Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Dr. Stommel is located in Beltsville, Md,, the mother ship of the ARS, but the service has units located from coast to coast that carry out thousands of research projects about everything agricultural, both floral and faunal.

Readable summaries of their technical research appear in the monthly Agricultural Research magazine, which you can access online.

Bur back to peppers in peppers. There appears to be nothing published on the subject in the past 50 years other than an article written by three University of California scientists in 1966.

That little pepper inside a bigger pepper is called an “internal proliferation.” Its form can vary from irregular and contorted to a near-perfect but sterile fruit.

A pepper growing inside a pepper is a type of parthenocarpy, which is the formation of fruits without fertilization or the formation of seeds. No one is sure what causes them, but temperature and nutrient levels have been ruled out.

Plant breeders, who consider this anomaly undesirable, keep an eye out for it when selecting for new cultivars, because the trait is inheritable.

So I received no definitive answers about why there are peppers in peppers, but had one definitive discovery: Busy scientists are willing to pause while fine mapping the tomato beta-modifier gene, as Dr. Stommel did, and answer oddball questions from the public.

For the record, an internal proliferation is as edible as its Capsicum container. I think of it as getting a second pepper for free.

Karan Davis Cutler is one of nine garden writers who blog regularly at Diggin’ It. She’s a former magazine editor and newspaper columnist and the author of scores of garden articles and more than a dozen books, including “Burpee – The Complete Flower Gardener” and “Herb Gardening for Dummies.” She now struggles to garden in the unyieldingly dense clay of Addison County, Vt., on the shore of Lake Champlain, where she is working on a book about gardening to attract birds and other wildlife.To read more by Karan, .

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been translated into Estonian. to read it.

What are these swirly green growths inside my bell peppers?

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