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Carotenoid Composition and Vitamin A Value in Ají (Capsicum baccatum L.) and Rocoto (C. pubescens R. & P.), 2 Pepper Species from the Andean Region
- Rodríguez-Burruezo, Adrián, González-Mas, Maria del Carmen, Nuez, Fernando
- Journal of food science 2010 v.75 no.8 pp. S446
- interspecific variation, hot peppers, nutrient content, quantitative analysis, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, high performance liquid chromatography, capsanthin, lutein, food composition, color, mass spectrometry, Capsicum pubescens, vitamin A, antioxidants, Capsicum baccatum
- The carotenoid patterns of fully ripe fruits from 12 Bolivian accessions of the Andean peppers Capsicum baccatum (ají) and C. pubescens (rocoto) were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-photodiode array detector (PDA)-mass spectrometry (MS). We include 2 California Wonder cultivars as C. annuum controls. A total of 16 carotenoids were identified and differences among species were mostly found at the quantitative level. Among red-fruited genotypes, capsanthin was the main carotenoid in the 3 species (25% to 50% contribution to carotenoid fraction), although ajíes contained the lowest contribution of this carotenoid. In addition, the contribution of capsanthin 5,6-epoxide to total carotenoids in this species was high (11% to 27%) in comparison to rocotos and red C. annuum. Antheraxanthin and violaxanthin were, in general, the next most relevant carotenoids in the red Andean peppers (6.1% to 10.6%). Violaxanthin was the major carotenoid in yellow-/orange-fruited genotypes of the 3 species (37% to 68% total carotenoids), although yellow rocotos were characterized by lower levels (<45%). Cis-violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and lutein were the next most relevant carotenoids in the yellow/orange Andean peppers (5% to 14%). As a whole, rocotos showed the highest contributions of provitamin A carotenoids to the carotenoid fraction. In terms of nutritional contribution, both ajíes and rocotos provide a remarkable provitamin A activity, with several accessions showing a content in retinol equivalents higher than California Wonder controls. Furthermore, levels of lutein in yellow/orange ajíes and rocotos were clearly higher than California Wonder pepper (≥1000 μg·100/g). Finally, the Andean peppers, particularly red ajíes, can be also considered as a noticeable source of capsanthin, the most powerful antioxidant compound among pepper carotenoids. Capsicum peppers are known for their content in carotenoids, although there is no information about 2 species with Andean origin: ajíes and rocotos. Due to their relevance for the Andean cuisine and increasing importance in ethnic restaurants in Europe, we studied their carotenoid pattern and vitamin A contribution.