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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1987;25(3):185-282.

Capsicum--production, technology, chemistry, and quality. Part IV. Evaluation of quality.


Capsicum fruits are popular worldwide and are used in the cuisines of both the developing and the developed countries. With its different varieties, forms, and uses, the spice capsicum contributes to the entire gamut of sensory experience--color as finely ground paprika powder or extract in sausages, goulash, cheese, and snacks; both pungency and color as the many varieties of chillies used in Mexican, African, Indian, and southeast Asian cuisines; color, aroma, and mild pungency as the fresh green chillies used in many of the growing countries; and appearance, color, aroma, and texture as fresh fruit in salads and as a pickled and canned product. In three earlier parts in this series, the varieties, cultivation, and primary processing; the processed products, world production, and trade; and the chemistry of the color, aroma, and pungency stimuli have been reviewed. In this part, the evaluation of quality through instrumental determination of the causal components and the sensory evaluation of color, aroma, and pungency are discussed. Several methods for quantitative determination of the stimuli and the sensory evaluation of the responses to the stimuli are reviewed. The problems of sensory evaluation of color, aroma, and pungency, the dominant attributes for validation of the instrumentally determined values for carotenoids, volatiles, or particular fractions, and total and individual capsaicinoids are specifically discussed. Summarized details of selected instrumental methods for evaluating the stimuli, which are either validated by correlation to sensorily perceived responses or to adopted standards, are given along with representative data obtained for discussing the adequacy and reliability of the methods. Pungency as a specific gustatory perception and the many methods proposed to evaluate this quality are discussed. A recommended objective procedure for obtaining reproducible values is discussed, and a method for relating different panel results is shown. With such a method, highly significant correlations have been shown between estimated total capsaicinoids and the determined pungency. The estimation of total capsaicinoids by any simple, reliable method is shown to be adequate for quality control of pungency of Capsicum fruits.

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