Submitted to: Chemistry and Biodiversity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2008
Publication Date: 2/20/2009
Citation: Jarret, R.L., Berke, T., Baldwin, E.A., Antonious, G. 2009. Variability for free sugars and organic acids in Capsicum Chinense. Chemistry and Biodiversity. 6:138-145.
Interpretive Summary: Two hundred and sixteen unique varieties of pepper (Capsicum chinense) were grown in the field and their fruit were subsequently harvested and analyzed for the concentrations of various sugars and acids that are believed to contribute to the sweetness and/or sourness of pepper fruit. Great variation was found for the concentrations of these compounds in the mature fruit of this species. Concentrations [mg/100 g Fresh Weight (FW)] of the sugars sucrose, glucose and fructose ranged from; 0.0 to 150; 68 to 701; and 101 to 823 mg/100g FW, respectively. Values for total ascorbic concentrations ranged from 30 to 1466 mg/100g FW. Concentrations of organic acids ranged from; 0.0 (not detected) to 818, 430, 340, and 232 mg/100g FW for citric, malic fumaric and succinic acids, respectively. The data presented suggests that selection for varieties of pepper with defines sugar/acid profiles could result in varieties with unique flavor attributes and the germplasm analyzed in this study could serve as a source of genes effecting fruit taste.
Technical Abstract: Fruit of 216 genotypes of Capsicum chinense Jacq. were analyzed for concentrations of the simple sugars sucrose, glucose, fructose, and the organic acids; citric, malic, succinic, fumaric and ascorbic. Concentrations [mg/100g Fresh Weight (FW) of whole fruit] of sucrose, glucose and fructose in fruit of this species ranged from: 0.0 to 150; 68 to 701; and 101 to 823, respectively. The total of these sugars (sucrose + glucose + fructose) ranged from 198 to 1543 mg/100g FW. Concentrations of organic acids ranged from; 0.0 (not detected) to 818, 430, 340 and 232 mg/100g FW for citric, malic, fumaric and succinic acids, respectively. However, the relative ranking in the concentrations of the individual acids was genotype dependent. Total ascorbic acid values ranged from 30 to 1466 mg/100g FW. These data serve to document the range in the concentrations of individual sugars and acids present in mature C. chinense fruit and suggest that variability within the gene pool for these characteristics could be used to identify genotypes of potential use in efforts to manipulate the concentrations of these compounds, to study their synthesis and/or metabolism, and to further examine their contribution(s) to fruit flavor and other quality attributes.