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J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Jan;98(1):217-224. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8459. Epub 2017 Aug 17.

Brazilian Capsicum peppers: capsaicinoid content and antioxidant activity.

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São Carlos Institute of Chemistry (IQSC), University of São Paulo (USP), São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil.
School of Food Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil.
Horticultural Center, Agronomic Institute, Campinas, SP, Brazil.



Capsicum peppers are known as a source of capsaicinoids, phenolic compounds and antioxidants. Brazilian Capsicum peppers are important spices used in foods worldwide. However, little information is available on the chemical composition and antioxidant activity of these peppers.


Capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, total phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity were investigated in extracts of three Brazilian peppers: Capsicum frutescens, C. chinense and C. baccatum var. pendulum, in two different harvest years and at two ripening stages. The bioactive compound content was dependent on harvest year, and changes in the concentration profiles were found for capsaicin. Mature fruits of C. chinense harvested in the first year had the highest capsaicin concentration (2.04 mg g-1 fresh pepper), and mature fruits of C. frutescens harvested in the same first year had the highest dihydrocapsaicin content (0.95 mg g-1 fresh pepper). Mature fruits of C. frutescens harvested in the first year showed the major total phenolic compound content (2.46 mg g-1 fresh pepper). The total phenolic compound content was directly related to antioxidant activity.


Our results suggest that phenolic compounds significantly contribute to the antioxidant activity of the investigated peppers. Also, these data add valued novel information that enhances current knowledge of Brazilian pepper fruits. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.


C. baccatum (Willd.) Eshbaugh; C. chinense Jacq.; Capsicum frutescens L.; bioactive compounds

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