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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION, CHARACTERIZATION, AND EVALUATION OF CROP GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED INFORMATION

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

Title: Antioxidants in Capsicum chinense: Variation among countries of origin

Authors
item Antonious, George -
item Berke, Terry -
item Jarret, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Science and Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2009
Publication Date: June 30, 2009
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/33076
Citation: Antonious, G.F., Berke, T., Jarret, R.L. 2009. Antioxidants in Capsicum chinense: Variation among countries of origin. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. DOI: 10.1080/03601230903000727 44(B):621-626

Interpretive Summary: Pepper (Capsicum spp.) fruit contain an array of compounds that promote good health. However, little is known about variability in the concentrations of these compounds with the cultivated species of this crop. The purpose of this study was to evaluate fruit of Capsicum chinense for their concentrations of ß-carotene, ascorbic acid, phenols, and capsaicin. Fruit utilized for this study were harvested from plants grown from seed of this species that was collected from various countries around the world. Fruit of C. chinense PI 152452 (Brazil) and PI 360726 (Ecuador) contained the highest concentrations of ascorbic acid (1.2 and 1.1 mg g-1 FW, respectively). Fruit of PI 438648 (Mexico) contained the highest concentration of total phenols (349 µg g-1 FW). Accession PI 640900 (USA) contained the highest concentration (P< 0.05) of capsaicin (1.5 mg g-1 FW) and dihydrocapsaicin (1.2 mg g-1 FW). Total major capsaicinoids were highest (2 mg g-1 FW) in fruits of PI 438648 (Mexico). PI 355817 from Ecuador contained the highest concentration of ß-carotene (8 mg g-1 FW). All of these accessions were identified as potential candidates for the mass production of antioxidants with health-promoting activity.

Technical Abstract: The worldwide search for sources of beneficial phytochemicals continues. In this vein, many pepper (Capsicum L.) species and their cultivars have not been analyzed for their concentrations of the health-promoting antioxidants ß-carotene, ascorbic acid, phenols, or capsaicin. Capsicum chinense has been referred to as the most cultivated pepper in South America. Yet, little is known of the chemical composition of its fruits. The main objective of this investigation was to evaluate fruit of accessions of C. chinense for their concentrations of ß-carotene, ascorbic acid, phenols, and capsaicin. Mature fruit of 63 accessions of C. chinense originally from acquired from Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and the United States, were analyzed for their chemical composition. Fruits of C. chinense accessions PI152452 (Brazil) and PI360726 (Ecuador) contained the greatest concentrations of ascorbic acid (1.2 and 1.1 mg g-1 FW, respectively), while PI438648 (Mexico) contained the greatest concentration of total phenols (349 µg g-1 FW). Accession PI640900 (USA) contained the greatest concentration (P< 0.05) of capsaicin (1.5 mg g-1 FW) and dihydrocapsaicin (1.2 mg g-1 FW), while total major capsaicinoids in the fruits of PI438648 (Mexico) averaged 2 mg g-1 FW. PI355817 from Ecuador contained the greatest concentration of ß-carotene (8 mg g-1 FW). These accessions were identified as potential candidates for mass production of antioxidants with health-promoting properties.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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