What can I use as a white pepper substitute?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “What can I use as a white pepper substitute?” Also, we’ll explore what white pepper is, where it comes from, what its nutritional content is, and what are the health benefits of eating white pepper. 

What can I use as a white pepper substitute? 

Many products can be used to replace white pepper in recipes, though which one should be used, will rest in the hands of our readers, as it is a matter of personal taste. 

While black pepper is harvested from the same plant, the processing method differs from that of white pepper, and our readers may note a different taste between the two. 

Among the most popular substitutes, our readers may find that cayenne pepper, black pepper, a premixed blend of peppers, and green or red peppercorn can easily stand in for white pepper. 

Other spices that may be used, but will confer a different taste, include ginger, garlic, garlic with pepper, ground mustard, paprika, turmeric, or a homemade mixture.

What is white pepper? 

White pepper is a spice that is used to add flavor to dishes such as meats, purées, and salads. 

Unlike chile peppers, white pepper plants are perennial and belong to a different family of flowering plants, genus, and by extension species. 

White pepper is harvested in the shape of little, spherical berries. These are picked when they’ve fully ripened, and processed by soaking and fermenting. 

Unlike black pepper berries, which are aged and darkened, soaked white pepper berries have some water-soluble components removed (as it leaches into the water they’re soaked in). The fermenting process conveys different biomolecules, conveying a different taste. 

White pepper is commercialized in convenience stores both whole and ground, and many recipes can use white pepper as a seasoning.  

Where does white pepper come from? 

White pepper is harvested from Piper nigrum trees. These trees are cultivated for their berries, which, when processed can yield both white and black pepper, two popular spices used to make many dishes, but each one with a different flavor. 

Pepper was originally cultivated in India, and Western cultures were introduced to it as an import of the Hellenic conquests, around 300 BC. Eventually, it was imported to the old world, and due to its distant provenance and unique flavor, it is reputed to for a time, have been used as a currency. 

In actuality, the countries that produce the most white pepper include Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka. 

The top importers are the United States, India, Germany, Vietnam, and China. 

What is the nutritional content of white pepper? 

On average, one teaspoon of ground white pepper (about 2.4 grams), will provide: 

  • 7.1 calories – 0f of which 0.5 are sourced from fat
  • 0.3 grams of protein
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 1.6 grams of carbohydrates (!% of the recommended daily intake) – of which 0.6 grams are dietary fiber.
  • 0.1 milligrams of sodium
  • 1.8 milligrams of potassium

*Recommended daily intake values are based on a 2000 calories per day diet. 

What are the health benefits of eating white pepper? 

The health benefits of eating white pepper include reducing symptoms associated with chronic diseases. These include insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), anti-inflammatory properties, and some symptoms associated with fatty liver disease

These effects are due to the piperin found in white pepper. 

Piperin is a secondary metabolite found in pepper, that has also demonstrated a positive effect in the absorption of nutrients, reducing inflammatory profiles, and regulating blood sugar levels. 

Other effects have been associated with Piperin consumption though more studies and clinical trials are necessary to elucidate the processes behind them. These alleged benefits include being used as an anti-cancer supplement, to prevent the onset of this disease, and it could play a part in enhancing cognitive function. 

Piperin supplements are available, though readers looking to reap the benefits should consult with a doctor, especially if they’ve been priorly diagnosed with an underlying condition that requires prescription medication. 

This is because Piperin may interact with the absorption of some medications, and may, therefore, be contraindicated. 

We encourage our readers to speak with a general practitioner before they opt to consume any supplements. 


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “What can I use as a white pepper substitute?” Also, we’ve explored what white pepper is, where it comes from, what its nutritional content is, and what are the health benefits of eating white pepper. 








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