Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Quantification of Capsaicin in Hot Pepper Fruits

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Crude extracts from hot pepper fruits having insecticidal and acaricidal performance were used for development of a new natural product for use as a biodegradable alternative to many synthetic pesticides in small acreage, high value crops. Hot pepper fruits also contain significant amounts of antioxidant compounds (ascorbic acid, total phenols, capsaicin, and β-carotene). Capsaicin [N-vanillyl-8-methyl-6-noneamide] is the most pungent of the group of compounds called capsaicinoids in chili peppers. A field study was conducted at Kentucky State University Research Farm to quantify the concentration of capsaicin in hot pepper fruits. Fifty-two Capsicum accessions selected from the USDA Capsicum germplasm collection were screened for their capsaicinoids content using gas chromatography (GC/NPD). At harvest, fresh fruits were extracted by blending with methanol and analyzed for capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin and nordihydrocapsaicin. Mass spectrometric analysis of the fruit crude extracts indicated that the molecular ions at m/z 305, 307, and 293 which correspond to capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and nordihydrocapsaicin, respectively, have a common benzyl cation fragment at m/z 137 that could be used for monitoring capsaicinoids in hot pepper fruit extracts. Concentrations of total capsaicinoids varied among accessions tested and were greatest in Capsicum chinense fruits (11.2 mg/fruit). Quantification of capsaicinoids in the selected accessions allowed us to identify genotypes with high levels of total capsaicinoids for the mass production of natural capsaicin from hot pepper fruits.

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Quantification of Capsaicin in Hot Pepper Fruits

Crude extracts from hot pepper fruits having insecticidal and acaricidal performance were used for development of a new natural product for use as a biodegradable alternative to many synthetic pesticides in small acreage, high value crops. Hot pepper fruits also contain significant amounts of antioxidant compounds (ascorbic acid, total phenols, capsaicin, and β-carotene). Capsaicin [N-vanillyl-8-methyl-6-noneamide] is the most pungent of the group of compounds called capsaicinoids in chili peppers. A field study was conducted at Kentucky State University Research Farm to quantify the concentration of capsaicin in hot pepper fruits. Fifty-two Capsicum accessions selected from the USDA Capsicum germplasm collection were screened for their capsaicinoids content using gas chromatography (GC/NPD). At harvest, fresh fruits were extracted by blending with methanol and analyzed for capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin and nordihydrocapsaicin. Mass spectrometric analysis of the fruit crude extracts indicated that the molecular ions at m/z 305, 307, and 293 which correspond to capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and nordihydrocapsaicin, respectively, have a common benzyl cation fragment at m/z 137 that could be used for monitoring capsaicinoids in hot pepper fruit extracts. Concentrations of total capsaicinoids varied among accessions tested and were greatest in Capsicum chinense fruits (11.2 mg/fruit). Quantification of capsaicinoids in the selected accessions allowed us to identify genotypes with high levels of total capsaicinoids for the mass production of natural capsaicin from hot pepper fruits.