Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Analysis of Hot Pepper for Capsaicin and Heavy Metals

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Hot pepper accessions that strongly accumulate heavy metals in their edible portions should be regarded as potential source of heavy metal contamination in the food supply. Phenols, ascorbic acid, capsaicin, and β-carotene are some of the classes of naturally occurring compounds having antioxidants activity in hot pepper. However, elevated concentration of heavy metals in hot pepper fruits could expose consumers to potentially hazardous chemicals. The main objectives of this investigation were to: i) to select candidate accessions of hot pepper having high concentrations of phytochemicals for use as parents in breeding for these antioxidant compounds and ii) assess if hot pepper genotypes that contain great concentrations of capsaicin could be also heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, Mo) accumulators. Seeds of hot pepper (Capsicum chinense) were collected from Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and U.S. and planted in a silty-loam soil. Fruits of PI-640900 (USA) contained the greatest concentration of capsaicin (1.52 mg g-1 fruit) and dihydrocapsaicin (1.16 mg g-1 fresh fruit), while total major capsaicinoids (capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin) in the fruits of PI-438648 (Mexico) averaged 2 mg g-1 fruit. PI-152452 (Brazil) and PI-360726 (Ecuador) contained the greatest concentrations of ascorbic acid (1.2 and 1.1 mg g-1 fruit, respectively). PI-438648 (Mexico) contained the greatest concentration of total phenols (349 µg g-1 fruit) while, PI355817 (Ecuador) contained the greatest concentration of β-carotene among the other 63 accessions tested. Variability of these traits might be utilized via plant breeding approaches for their value-added health-promoting characteristics.

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Analysis of Hot Pepper for Capsaicin and Heavy Metals

Hot pepper accessions that strongly accumulate heavy metals in their edible portions should be regarded as potential source of heavy metal contamination in the food supply. Phenols, ascorbic acid, capsaicin, and β-carotene are some of the classes of naturally occurring compounds having antioxidants activity in hot pepper. However, elevated concentration of heavy metals in hot pepper fruits could expose consumers to potentially hazardous chemicals. The main objectives of this investigation were to: i) to select candidate accessions of hot pepper having high concentrations of phytochemicals for use as parents in breeding for these antioxidant compounds and ii) assess if hot pepper genotypes that contain great concentrations of capsaicin could be also heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, Mo) accumulators. Seeds of hot pepper (Capsicum chinense) were collected from Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and U.S. and planted in a silty-loam soil. Fruits of PI-640900 (USA) contained the greatest concentration of capsaicin (1.52 mg g-1 fruit) and dihydrocapsaicin (1.16 mg g-1 fresh fruit), while total major capsaicinoids (capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin) in the fruits of PI-438648 (Mexico) averaged 2 mg g-1 fruit. PI-152452 (Brazil) and PI-360726 (Ecuador) contained the greatest concentrations of ascorbic acid (1.2 and 1.1 mg g-1 fruit, respectively). PI-438648 (Mexico) contained the greatest concentration of total phenols (349 µg g-1 fruit) while, PI355817 (Ecuador) contained the greatest concentration of β-carotene among the other 63 accessions tested. Variability of these traits might be utilized via plant breeding approaches for their value-added health-promoting characteristics.