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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Jarret, Robert - Bob
item Perkins, Brian
item Fan, Titan
item Prince, Alison
item Guthrie, Kelly
item Skoczenski, Brian

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2002
Publication Date: 2/1/2003
Citation: Jarret, R.L., Perkins, B., Fan, T. Prince, A., Guthrie, K., Skoczenski, B. 2003. Using EIA to screen "capsicum" spp. germplasm for capsaicinoid content. Journal of food science, J. food comp. & analysis 16:189-194

Interpretive Summary: A novel assay (Enzyme Immunoassay) was evaluated in order to determine its ability to estimate the quantity of capsicin and related compounds in fruit of pepper ("Capsicum" spp.). Capsicin, and related compounds are responsible for the pungency ('hotness') of various types of peppers. The Enzyme Immunoassay was evaluated against the laboratory technique commonly utilized for analysis of these compounds-High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Estimates of pungency as determined by both techniques were in close agreement indicating that the Enzyme Immunoassay may be a suitable and also a less expensive alternative technique for estimating pungency in fresh pepper fruits.

Technical Abstract: An enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was evaluated for its ability to quantify total capsaicinoids in fruit of 16 genotypes representing four species of "Capsicum", in comparison with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Concentrations of capsaicinoids in samples ranged from 5.1 to 4284 ppm, and from 0.6 to 3467 ppm, as determined by EIA and HPLC, respectively. Lowest concentrations of capsaicinoids occurred in sweet Bell and pimento types ("C. Annum" L.), and the highest concentration occurred in a small-fruited 'bird' type accession of "C. Frutescens" L. (PI 593924). Estimates of capsaicinoids obtained by EIA and HPLC were highly correlated (R(2) = 0.996). Data suggest that EIA is an effective means for estimating total capsaicinoids in extracts of fresh chile fruits.

Last Modified: 08/16/2017
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