Main content area

Evaluation of traditional genotypes of pepper (Capsicum annuum) for vitamin C content

Sanchez, E., Hellin, P., Rodriguez-Burrezo, A., Gomariz, J., Garrido, I., Cava, J., Molina, M. V., Fenoll, J., Flores, P.
Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1194 pp. 979-984
Capsicum annuum, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, breeding programs, color, cultivars, dehydroascorbic acid, fruits, functional foods, genetic variation, genotype, health promotion, liquid chromatography, new variety, nutritive value, parents, peppers, spectrometers
In addition to its economic importance, pepper is recognized as a food of nutritional interest due to its high content of antioxidant compounds, particularly vitamin C. However, low attention has currently been payed to the content of health-promoting compounds in new commercial cultivars with a high degree of genetic uniformity. Traditional cultivars constitute a wide source of genetic variation that can be used per se or to obtain new cultivars with a high consumer appeal and nutritional value. In this study, variations in the vitamin C content of 46 traditional genotypes of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) were evaluated. Vitamin C was measured as the sum of ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid, using a liquid chromatography system equipped with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer detector (HPLC-MS/MS). The study includes fruits of high genetic variability, including differences in sizes, color and shapes. Vitamin C content increased with fruit color, in the following order: yellow<orange<red<dark red<brown. Narrowly triangular and horn-shaped peppers contained the highest vitamin C values, followed by circular and moderately triangular, and finally square and trapezoidal fruits. Pungent fruits showed significantly higher vitamin C concentration than non-pungent fruits. The highest vitamin C value was recorded in the cultivar 'Ramche Korsani', a very small red pepper with a narrowly triangular shape. These results may contribute to recover the use of many traditional cultivars, directly in the field or as donor parents for breeding programs aimed to increase the nutraceutical properties of commercial cultivars.