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Changes in capsaicinoids during development, maturation and senescence of chile peppers and relation with peroxidase activity

Contreras-Padilla, M., Yahia, E.M.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1998 v.46 no.6 pp. 2075-2079
Capsicum annuum, cultivars, Capsicum chinense, peppers, alkaloids, capsaicin, chemical degradation, chemical composition, peroxidase, enzyme activity, plant development, ripening, senescence, Mexico
The components responsible for chile hot flavor, capsaicinoids, are synthesized through the cinnamic acid pathway, and their degradation is thought to be aided by the action of peroxidases. This work describes the evolution of capsaicinoids during the development, maturation, and senescence of the fruit in three varieties of hot chile peppers widely used in Mexico [Habanero (Capsicum chinense Jacq.), De arbol (C. annuum var. Annuum), and Piquin (C. annuum var. Aviculare)] and its relation with the activity of peroxidases in these fruits. Capsaicinoids were more abundant in the fruit of Habanero, followed by De arbol and then by Piquin. Capsaicin was higher than dihydrocapsaicin in the three varieties. Capsaicinoids, capsaicin, and dihydrocapsaicin increased continuously and reached a peak after 45-50 days from fruit set (DFFS) in Habanero and De arobol and after 40 DFFS in Piquin and then declined. Peroxidase activity increased at the time when the concentration of capsaicinoids started to decrease. There was an inverse relationship between the evolution of capsaicinoids and peroxidase activity that might indicate that this enzyme is involved in capsaicinoid degradation.