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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Griffin, Georgia » Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #221269

Title: Natural Capsaicin in Capsicum chinense: Concentration vs. Origin

item Jarret, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2007
Publication Date: 10/2/2007
Citation: Yoon-Hyeao, H., Antonious, G.F., Berke, T., Jarret, R.L. 2007. Natural Capsaicin in Capsicum chinense: Concentration vs. Origin. Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science. 102:36-42.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Capsaicin [N-vanillyl-8-methyl-6-(E) noneamide] is the most pungent of the group of compounds known as capsaicinoids in chili peppers. A survey was conducted to screen fruits of 307 hot pepper accessions of Capsicum chinense selected from the USDA germplasm collection for their major capsaicinoids content (capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin). Seeds of C. chinense from fruits originated from Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, United States, and Venezuela were planted in the field in Woodland, California. Mature fruits were harvested and their capsaicinoids were quantified. Concentrations of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin varied between origins and between accessions (genotypes) of the same origin. Statistical analysis revealed that fruits obtained from seeds originated in Mexico, Brazil, and United States produced the greatest concentration of total capsaicinoids. Among all accessions analyzed, accession PI-438644 (Mexico) had the greatest total capsaicinnoids content (2.38 mg g-1 fresh fruit) and accession PI-441619 (Brazil) had the greatest capsaicin content (2.2 mg g-1 fresh fruit), while PI-441623 (Brazil) had the greatest dihydrocapsacin content (1.8 mg g-1 fresh fruit). PI-640900 contained the greatest capsaicin content (1.6 mg g-1 fresh fruit) among all accessions selected from United States. Quantification of capsaicinoids in the selected accessions allowed the identification of accessions with greatest levels of capsaicinoids. Accessions PI-438644 (Mexico), PI-441619 (Brazil), and PI-640900 (United States) were identified as potential candidates for mass production of capsaicinoids, or for breeding of varieties having greatest capsaicinoids content.