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Red pepper (Capsicum spp.) fruit: A model for the study of secondary metabolite product distribution and its management

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Abstract

Red pepper (chili) is the plant with many benefits. The plant can be used as herbal medicines, food flavor and pet food. The plant is characteristic as a tropical plant. Therefore the plant is very potential as an export commodity. The usefulness of chili due to its secondary metabolite content called capsaicin. The compound is not distributed evenly in the fruit tissues. Moreover, the production of the compound in the plant tissues are affected by environment factors. Our anatomical research using paraffin method and light microscopy for the analyses found that chili fruit consist of pericarp, mesocarp, endocarp, septum, placenta, funiculus and seed. Our following research analyzed the capsaicin content in the various tissues of chili fruit using gas chromatography concluded that the compound is mostly accumulated in the fruit septum compared to other fruit tissues. Our study on the capsaicin content in various developing stage of chili fruit found that the highest capsaicin content was in the most ripened fruit. The time for fruit ripening varied based on the varieties. Fruit ripening mostly in between 35 d to 40 d after anthesis (DAA). Our other studies found that environment factors, namely growing medium and kind of fertilizer affected capsaicin content in the various stages of fruit development. Therefore, growing conditions and the selection of fruit tissues should be arranged based on the purposes of chili fruit utilization.

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... Solitary, creamy white, pedicelled flowers with enclosing five petals (Echave et al. 2020) and the straw colored seeds are other anatomical important features of the plants (Idrees et al. 2020). The fruit of Capsicum spp. is an elongated round shaped berry with a tapered tip (Nugroho 2016) which is unusual in being hollow, not filled with a pulp (Pickersgill 2003). Microscopically, the fruit consists of many parts such as pericarp, mesocarp, endocarp, septum, placenta, funiculus and seeds (Nugroho 2016). ...
... The fruit of Capsicum spp. is an elongated round shaped berry with a tapered tip (Nugroho 2016) which is unusual in being hollow, not filled with a pulp (Pickersgill 2003). Microscopically, the fruit consists of many parts such as pericarp, mesocarp, endocarp, septum, placenta, funiculus and seeds (Nugroho 2016). Between mesocarp and endocarp is an airspace, and the interior has 2-4 chambers (carpels) separated by an inner wall (septum) and/or additional septa. ...
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Various herbs, plants and spices have been used for many decades as natural valuable remedies for prevention and/or treatment of diverse diseases and health problems. Chili peppers (Capsicum spp.), one of the oldest domesticated and utilized crops, are bestowed with a wide range of natural bioactive phytochemicals making the plant a very valuable spice with the health beneficial aspects. Carotenoids (apocarotenoids), ascorbic acid (and other vitamins), phenolic compounds, capsaicinoids and capsinoids belong to the main bioactive substances of nutritional and secondary metabolite composition of Capsicum fruits. Due to their presence, chili peppers possess various health-promoting functional attributes (such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities, pain relief properties, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal benefits, antidiabetic and anti-obesity effects, antimicrobial and antifungal activities) which are summarized and characterized in the current review. Taking into account not only the pungency, color and aroma but also the medicinal potential, the enormous quantities of various Capsicum fruits have been consumed worldwide, particularly in China. Attributing to the existence of several cultivars showing significant intra-specific, as well as inter-specific chemical variability, there is still a growing number of scientific researches screening the chemical composition and exploring potential phytopharmacy (including antioxidant and antimicrobial activities) of chili peppers. Such observations provide a helpful insight into the ability of the various Capsicum cultivars as natural agents in the prevention of diverse, mainly free radical- and microbial-related human diseases.
... Figure 4 shows the distribution of features between placenta and pericarp tissues. As was expected [28], capsaicinoids were more abundant in placenta than pericarp. In contrast, pericarp was richer in glycosylated compounds and terpenoids such as acalyphin, capsiate, and capsidiol. ...
... Placental tissue showed a large number of previously reported compounds with bioactivity, mainly capsaicin-and capsinoids-related compounds. In addition, alkaloids and tocopherols were present, a fact that is in agreement with current literature [28,30]. Found to be abundant in this fruit compartment were 6-O-acetylaustroinulin (terpenoid) and Myrciacitrin V (flavonoid) and they have not been reported in the Capsicum fruit. ...
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Chili pepper (Capsicum spp.) is one of the most important horticultural crops worldwide, and its unique organoleptic properties and health benefits have been established for centuries. However, there is little knowledge about how metabolites are distributed throughout fruit parts. This work focuses on the use of liquid chromatography coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-ESI-HRMS) to estimate the global metabolite profiles of the pericarp, placenta, and seeds of Tabasco pepper fruits (Capsicum frutescens L.) at the red mature stage of ripening. Our main results putatively identified 60 differential compounds between these tissues and seeds. Firstly, we found that pericarp has a higher content of glycosides, showing on average a fold change of 5 and a fold change of 14 for terpenoids when compared with other parts of the fruit. While placenta was the richest tissue in capsaicinoid-related compounds, alkaloids, and tocopherols, with a 35, 3, and 7 fold change, respectively. However, the seeds were richer in fatty acids and saponins with fold changes of 86 and 224, respectively. Therefore, our study demonstrates that a non-targeted metabolomic approach may help to improve our understanding of unexplored areas of plant metabolism and also may be the starting point for a detailed analysis in complex plant parts, such as fruits.
... Such variation results due to decrease in peroxidase isoenzymes responsible for CAPS catabolism [91,92]. It has been reported that such shift in each of CAPS content varies with respect number of days after anthesis [93]. ...
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Worldwide, since ages and nowadays, traditional medicine is well known, owing to its biodiversity, which immensely contributed to the advancement and development of complementary and alternative medicines. There is a wide range of spices, herbs, and trees known for their medicinal uses. Chilli peppers, a vegetable cum spice crop, are bestowed with natural bioactive compounds, flavonoids, capsaicinoids, phytochemicals, phytonutrients, and pharmacologically active compounds with potential health benefits. Such compounds manifest their functionality over solo-treatment by operating in synergy and consortium. Co-action of these compounds and nutrients make them potentially effective against coagulation, obesity, diabetes, inflammation, dreadful diseases, such as cancer, and microbial diseases, alongside having good anti-oxidants with scavenging ability to free radicals and oxygen. In recent times, capsaicinoids especially capsaicin can ameliorate important viral diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2. In addition, capsaicin provides an ability to chilli peppers to ramify as topical agents in pain-relief and also benefitting man as a potential effective anesthetic agent. Such phytochemicals involved not only make them useful and a much economical substitute to wonder/artificial drugs but can be exploited as obscene drugs for the production of novel stuffs. The responsibility of the TRPV1 receptor in association with capsaicin in mitigating chronic diseases has also been justified in this study. Nonetheless, medicinal studies pertaining to consumption of chilli peppers are limited and demand confirmation of the findings from animal studies. In this artifact, an effort has been made to address in an accessible format the nutritional and biomedical perspectives of chilli pepper, which could precisely upgrade and enrich our pharmaceutical industries towards human well-being.
... Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), a member of the genus Capsicum, is one of the essential horticultural crops, widely cultivated in lowland or highland. It has high economic value and has potential as an export commodity because of its functions and character as a tropical plant [1]. Colletotrichum acutatum, Phythopthora capsici., and Pythium sp. are the primary pathogenic agents attacking root, leaves, stem, and fruit pre-or post-harvest stage [2,3]. ...
Article
Fungal pathogens are causative agent of pepper diseases that affect the yield loss. At least 10% of food loss in the developing country caused by plant diseases. Clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum L.) was reported to be able to control pathogenic fungi. In order to evaluate the effect of clove oil in inhibiting the growth of the pepper disease, three types of major causal agent of pepper diseases were used namely Colletotrichum acutatum, Phythopthora capsici, and Pythium sp. The experiment was evaluated in vitro. The three pathogens were treated with the essential oil in different concentration according to IC50 result on each fungi. The clove oil showed inhibitory effect against tested fungi. The Syzygium aromaticum L. essensial oil showed the best inhibitory effect at concentration 340 µl/L, 180 µl/L and 100 µl/L for C. acutatum, P. capsici, and Pythium sp. respectively.
... The presence of the pungent principles (capsaicinoids) of Capsicum fruits within cells of the interlocular septum and placenta has been demonstrated by histochemical (Ohta 1962d) and radioisotopic (Iwai et al. 1979) evidence, structural and ultrastructural microscopic analyses Zamski et al. 1987;Stewart et al. 2007) and analytical chemical procedures (Manirakiza et al. 2003;Stewart et al. 2007;Nugroho 2016;Guillen et al. 2018). The histological characteristics of the septum during fruit development have been investigated extensively in some cultivars of C. annuum and C. frutescens (Tschirch and Oesterle 1900;Ohta 1962d;Munting 1974;Dave et al. 1979;Suzuki et al. 1980), as well as some wild Capsicum species (Filippa and Bernardello 1992). ...
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Capsicum L. (tribe Capsiceae, Solanaceae) is an American genus distributed ranging from the southern United States of America to central Argentina and Brazil. The genus includes chili peppers, bell peppers, ajíes, habaneros, jalapeños, ulupicas and pimientos, well known for their economic importance around the globe. Within the Solanaceae, the genus can be recognised by its shrubby habit, actinomorphic flowers, distinctive truncate calyx with or without appendages, anthers opening by longitudinal slits, nectaries at the base of the ovary and the variously coloured and usually pungent fruits. The highest diversity of this genus is located along the northern and central Andes. Although Capsicum has been extensively studied and great advances have been made in the understanding of its taxonomy and the relationships amongst species, there is no monographic treatment of the genus as a whole. Based on morphological and molecular evidence studied from field and herbarium specimens, we present here a comprehensive taxonomic treatment for the genus, including updated information about morphology, anatomy, karyology, phylogeny and distribution. We recognise 43 species and five varieties, including C. mirum Barboza, sp. nov. from São Paulo State, Brazil and a new combination C. muticum (Sendtn.) Barboza, comb. nov. ; five of these taxa are cultivated worldwide (C. annuum L. var. annuum, C. baccatum L. var. pendulum (Willd.) Eshbaugh, C. baccatum L. var. umbilicatum (Vell.) Hunz. & Barboza, C. chinense Jacq. and C. frutescens L.). Nomenclatural revision of the 265 names attributed to chili peppers resulted in 89 new lectotypifications and five new neotypifications. Identification keys and detailed descriptions, maps and illustrations for all taxa are provided.
... Longum Sendt) is rich in vitamins, minerals, and capsaicin [9]. Capsaicin originates from the spicy taste of the food [10]. Besides, red chilli pepper can be used to shorten the fermentation time and inhibit various pathogenic microorganisms. ...
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Cincalok, a traditional fermented shrimp, is prepared by mixing rebon shrimps (Acetes sp) with coarse salt and granulated sugar in a certain ratio. This research was aimed at studying the effect of adding garlic and red chilli pepper powder on the physicochemical, microbiological, and sensory properties of cincalok. Cincalok was made to be three recipes, namely, original cincalok, A, consists of 2 kg of rebon shrimp, 400 g of granulated sugar, and 100 g of coarse salt; B (A ingredients plus 20 g of red chilli pepper powder); and C (A ingredients plus 20 g of garlic powder). Sensory analysis was conducted on recipe A, and the colour was observed by the naked eye on days 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 13, 18, 23, 28, 33, 43, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180. According to the highest criterion score on sensory results, the panellists chose day 6 as the best fermentation for recipe A. The colour of recipe A started changing from pink to a light brown colour on the surface on day 28. Therefore, the physicochemical, microbiological, and sensory properties of each recipe were analyzed for 28 days. Overall, the water, ash, and fat content; titratable acid (TA); total volatile base nitrogen (TVBN); and amino acid nitrogen (AAN) showed insignificant differences (p>0.05) among the recipes during 28 days of the same observation. The crude protein, pH, and free fatty acid (FFA) of recipe C were significantly different (p
... Capsaicinoids are a group of alkaloids exclusive to the genus Capsicum, which are responsible for typical pungent/hot taste of the hot peppers (Antonio et al., 2018;Naves et al., 2019). The concentration of capsaicinoids increases with fruit development and ripening in hot species of Capsicum (Nugroho, 2016;Estrada et al., 2000). Some species of Capsicum also produce capsinoids, which are structurally similar to capsaicinoids but lack pungency and are generally produced in low concentrations Jarret et al., 2014). ...
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Fruits are not only important for the plants but also for ensuring sustainable food security of the burgeoning global population. Considering the huge nutritional and ecological importance of fruits, investigation of mechanisms, and factors governing their development and ripening is crucial. The investigation of fruit development in several economically important crops such as tomato, strawberry, grape, and banana including Capsicum suggest that early fruit development is largely dependent on auxins and gibberellins (GAs) whereas later ripening is dependent on ethylene or abscisic acid (ABA). The initial development is relatively conserved whereas the ripening of fruits can be either climacteric or non-climacteric depending on the presence or absence of respiratory burst and ethylene production respectively. Climacteric fruit ripening is mediated by ethylene, and it is well studied in tomato and banana, whereas non-climacteric fruit ripening requires ABA and much of the information on it comes from strawberry and grape. The genus Capsicum L. shows rich diversity in fruit traits such as shape, colour, size, and even in its ripening behaviour. Early fruit development in different species of Capsicum appears similar to other fruit crops, whereas later fruit ripening behaviour in different species of Capsicum can be either climacteric or non-climacteric depending upon evolution of ethylene and respiratory burst. It has been found that, even different cultivars of the same species of Capsicum show variation in ripening behaviour suggesting interspecific and intraspecific complexities in fruit ripening responses. Until a few years, a majority of the papers have focussed on the non-climacteric nature of fruit ripening in Capsicum. However, recent studies have shown substantial involvement of ethylene and ethylene related genes in fruit ripening of Capsicum suggesting the existence of extensive common regulons between climacteric and non-climacteric fruits. Recent studies have also suggested the involvement of several epigenetic mechanisms such as non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and cytosine methylation in regulating fruit development and ripening. With the advent of new tools in the omics field such as genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, and epigenomics, there is considerable progress in understanding the fruit development and complex nature of ripening in Capsicum. Nevertheless, consolidated information on Capsicum fruit development and its complex nature of ripening is not available. In this article, an attempt is made to present up to date consolidated information on the development and ripening of Capsicum fruit with an emphasis on its genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal regulation.
... Secondary metabolism is very active in Capsicum fruits because the mesocarp accumulates an ample quantity of useful carotenoids, flavonoid glycosides, ascorbate, and tocopherols [16]. In addition, the placenta accumulates a significant amount of capsaicinoids (in pungent peppers) or capsinoids (in sweet peppers) [21]. The accumulation of these secondary metabolites is regulated by environmental conditions. ...
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em>Capsicum annuum is a crop species of economic importance able to produce capsaicinoids, capsinoids, and pigments with nutritional and medicinal value. Methods to propagate and transform this species have been reported, but most are phenotype dependent, rely on Agrobacterium for transformation, and their success has been limited. This relates to only one commercial transgenic variety currently on trial. In the present work, we report the conditions to produce callus and cell suspension cultures of C. annuum ‘Serrano’ using commercial seeds. The culture could be induced to produce capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in detectable quantities and was amenable to transformation using biolistics. The expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana soluble inorganic pyrophosphatase 4 fused to a fluorescent protein was demonstrated using confocal microscopy. Evidence of the integrity of the fusion was obtained by immunoblot. The transformation induced a change in the ratio of capsaicin to dihydrocapsaicin measured using high resolution direct sample analysis-mass spectrometry (DSA-MS). The method is thus useful for the study of capsaicinoid production under controlled conditions for special purposes and metabolic studies.
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The Capsicum genus is one of the most popular plants consumed and cultivated worldwide, containing approximately 50 000 varieties of pepper. Due to its wide biodiversity, the chemical composition within the genus also presents a great variability. Its major applications are in food and pharmacological industry, as pepper presents a chemical composition rich in capsaicinoids, carotenoids, flavonoids and volatile compounds which is attributed to the ability of the fruit to remove insipidity, produce aromas and act against oxidative diseases. Due the existence of several cultivars there is a huge intraspecific chemical variability within each species, which can be considered as an obstacle when selecting and cultivating a species to be applied as a natural product source for a specific objective. The usage of pepper-based products in different industrial areas requires pre-established ranges of chemical compounds, such as capsaicinoids, which in high concentration are toxic when consumed by humans. Applying a pepper with a chemical profile closely related to the concentration that is required after industrial processing can improve efficacy and effectiveness of the process. An insight into the chemical characteristics of major secondary bioactive compounds within Capsicum, the factors that affect their concentration and their chemosystematic implication are reported and discussed.
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The experiment was designed to investigate the effects of chili meal on growth performance, stress index, lipid peroxidation and ileal digestibility in broilers under high stocking density. Total of 664 day-old male broiler, Cobb-500, were randomly allocated into 10 treatments of 4 replicates each. The first two treatments were fed control diet and raised under normal and high stocking density to serve as stress-negative and stress-positive control groups, respectively. The rest were raised under high stocking density. Feed containing 2.5 mg/kg avilamycin and 250 mg/kg α-tocopheryl acetate were fed to Group 3 and 4 respectively. Group 5 and 6 were fed chili granules. Group 7 and 8 were fed chili powder. Group 9 and 10 were fed chili meal. Chili diet fed to Group 5, 7, and 9 contained 20 mg/kg capsaicin while the diet of Group 6, 8 and 10 contained 30 mg/kg capsaicin. Capsaicin concentration, stability and nutrient composition of the three chili forms were analyzed prior to the experiment. Data of growth performance, heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, and nutrient digestibility were collected and determined at the age of 21 and 41 days. Chili meal showed the lowest stability. Growth performances of birds in Group 5-10 were better than Group 1 (P < 0.001) and 2 (P < 0.029) during the starter period; however, only final body weight was significantly higher (P = 0.035) than the stress-positive control group during the finisher period. Among the chili-fed groups, chili meal group significantly showed higher average daily gain (ADG) and lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) than the chili granule group (P = 0.014) but they were not significantly different from those of chili powder group. All forms of chili diet significantly reduced MDA in birds to the level that could compare to stress-negative control group but the level was not significantly different from the avilamycin and α-tocopheryl acetate groups. No significant differences were found in ileal nutrient digestibility. The levels of capsaicin had no effects on all observed parameters. In conclusion, chili meal up to 78.9 g/kg in diet did not show any adverse effects. Under high stocking density, chili meal group had FCR comparable to avilamycin group and better than α-tocopheryl acetate group. The capsaicin level of 20 mg/kg was sufficient to show beneficial effects on growth performance and lipid peroxidation. It is recommended that chili meal should be used promptly when stored at 30 °C with 75% relative humidity.
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Historians of the Eurasian spice trade focus on the fortunes of black pepper (piper nigrum), largely because the trading companies of the Dutch and English which they study also did. Capsicum peppers are, however, the world׳s most consumed spice, and their story needs to be told in parallel. The five species of capsicum peppers spread across the world in less than two hundred years following their discovery by Europeans in South and Central America and proved both hardier than piper nigrum and able to reproduce spontaneously. While the taste was similar but more pungent than black pepper, capsicums provided an important vitamin C and bioflavanoid supplement to poorer people in southern and Eastern Europe far from the precepts of good taste as dictated from Paris, and rapidly became a mainstay of tropical cuisine across the world. This contribution seeks both to trace and to understand that diffusion and its principal vectors from historical research amongst a plethora of primary source materials in European and Asian languages. Medical and dietetic reaction is presented from a wide range of contemporary texts. The work proceeds according to deductive reasoning and in comparison to the diffusion of black pepper consumption. It reveals the very different strategies of import substitution and commercial embargo undertaken by Portuguese and Spanish authorities, a somewhat later date of arrival in China than previously thought, and three different, competing lines of entry into an important area of later cultivation, namely Central Europe. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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The oil content and fatty acid composition of seed of 233 genebank accessions (total) of nine Capsicum species, and a single accession of Tubocapsicum anomalum, were determined. The physicochemical characteristics of oil extracted from seed of Capsicum annuum and Capsicum baccatum were also examined. Significant differences among mean values for seed oil content were detected among the cultivated Capsicum species. Oil content in seed of C. annuum var. annuum was significantly greater than that in seed of other cultivated species. Capsicum pubescens had the lowest average seed oil content. Among the non-cultivated taxa examined, seed of Capsicum galapagoense had the lowest oil content and T. anomalum the highest. Averages across the 5 cultivated taxa for the 4 principal fatty acids were 12.9%, 3.4%, 6.7% and 76.0% for C16:0 (palmitic), C18:0 (stearic), C18:1 (oleic) and 08:2 (linoleic), respectively. Linoleic acid was the principal fatty acid in all samples, with a high value of 81% in Capsicum chinense. Capsicum frutescens had the lowest percentage of total unsaturated fatty acids and T. anomalum the highest. In general, the oil content and fatty acid composition of seed of the wild taxa were similar to those of the cultivated species.
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We investigated the influence of red chili peppers (Capsicum annuum Lin.) on intestinal B cell-dependent immune responses. Production of two isotype immunoglobulins, immunoglobulin-A and G1 (IgA and IgG1, respectively) was measured in Peyer’s patch (PP) cells after treatment with Capsicum extract, capsaicin, or carotenoids. PP cells isolated from mice that had been orally injected with Capsicum extract or capsaicin (Capsicum’s main bioactive pungent compound) secreted significant amounts of IgA and IgG1, irrespective of lipopolysaccharide-stimulation. In contrast, oral injection of β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin or capsanthin (the free forms of carotenoids found in Capsicum) significantly reduced the production of antibodies. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that Capsicum and capsaicin caused a small increase in the number of CD19+ B cells and a decrease in CD3+ T cells in PP, while carotenoids did not affect either population. These results indicate that Capsicum extract or capsaicin potentiated intestinal humoral immune responses via antibody secretion.
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Capsaicin is a pungent capsaicinoid and is the main therapeutic and flavoring compound of Capsicum pepper species. Capsicum species have an important place in world spice production and markets. They are adapted to warm climates and are widely grown in China and Turkey. Besides food purposes, they have renowned therapeutic properties for a number of illnesses. In the present study, various Capsicum species and lines were studied for their capsaicin contents according to different harvest time and drying parameters. In this concept, some local lines and introduced Capsicum species (Capsicum frutescens 26, Acı Çiçek 52 and Capsicum chinense 38) from different countries were cultivated under the ecological conditions of the Çukurova region of Turkey in 2003–2004. Plants were harvested at two different times and three phases in each harvest time and drying parameters, related to ripening, and dried by various techniques (sun, solar tunnel dryer and cabinet dryer at varying drying temperatures such as 40°, 60° and 80°). The capsaicin contents of different Capsicum species and lines were affected by harvest time and drying parameters. Capsaicin contents were within the range 0.50–4.20%. The highest capsaicin content was obtained from the solar tunnel drying at the second harvest in the local Capsicum line Acı Çiçek 52.
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To reduce the pungency of Capsicum without losing its biological activity, Capsicum was fermented with bacteria isolated from traditional Korean foods. By comparing the capsaicin-degrading capacities of the isolated strains, the capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin contents of the P3-3 strain were found to be much less than the other strains, and the P3-3 strain was identified as Bacillus subtilis. After 48 h-fermentation with B. subtilis P3-3, the ferments showed sharp decreases in capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin from initial contents of 103.0 and 16.7 mg/100 g to 12.2 mg/100 g and 7.6 mg/100 g, respectively. The biological activities of commercial capsaicin (CAP), non-fermented Capsicum (NFC) and fermented Capsicum (FC) were also investigated by examining their effects on the swimming capacity of mice. The relative plasma free fatty acid (FFA) levels were as follows in decreasing order until 120 min of test duration: CAP > FC > NFC > control. The plasma adrenaline level of the CAP group showed a more rapid increase compared to the NFC and FC groups until 30 min after oral administration. In conclusion, this study found no differences in the enhancement of swimming endurance between FC and NFC in mice.
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The nature of the products of capsaicin oxidation by hot pepper peroxidase was studied by gel permeation chromatography. Three main types of oxidation products were identified. Peak 1, with an average molecular weight of 603 ± 12 and corresponding to dimers of capsaicin, was resolved by gas chromatography−mass spectrometry into the dimers 5,5‘-dicapsaicin (1a) and 4‘-O-5-dicapsaicin ether (1b). Peak 2 appears to be a polymeric product with a molecular weight of 4500 and probably corresponds to polymeric products with a mean degree of 15. Capsaicin−protein copolymers (peak 3) also appear to be products of capsaicin oxidation, probably arising from protein and capsaicin copolymerization. These results suggest that Capsicum peroxidase oxidizes capsaicin to yield 5,5‘-dicapsaicin and 4‘-O-5-dicapsaicin ether, together a mixture of highly polymerized dehydrogenation products, all of them therefore of a lignin-like nature. Keywords: Capsaicin; capsaicin oxidation products; hot pepper; peroxidase
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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 [Habañ ero (Capsicum chinense Jacq.), De á rbol (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 Habañ ero, followed by De á rbol 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 Habañ ero 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.
Article
Plant secondary compounds not only play an important role in plant defense, but have been a driving force for host adaptation by herbivores. Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide), an alkaloid found in the fruit of Capsicum spp. (Solanaceae), is responsible for the pungency of hot pepper fruits and is unique to the genus. The oriental tobacco budworm, Helicoverpa assulta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a specialist herbivore feeding on solanaceous plants including Capsicum annuum, and is one of a very few insect herbivores worldwide capable of feeding on hot pepper fruits. To determine whether this is due in part to an increased physiological tolerance of capsaicin, we compared H. assulta with another specialist on Solanaceae, Heliothis subflexa, and four generalist species, Spodoptera frugiperda, Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera, and Helicoverpa zea, all belonging to the family Noctuidae. When larvae were fed capsaicin-spiked artificial diet for the entire larval period, larval mortality increased in H. subflexa and H. zea but decreased in H. assulta. Larval growth decreased on the capsaicin-spiked diet in four of the species, was unaffected in H. armigera and increased in H. assulta. Food consumption and utilization experiments showed that capsaicin decreased relative consumption rate (RCR), relative growth rate (RGR) and approximate digestibility (AD) in H. zea, and increased AD and the efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) in H. armigera; whereas it did not significantly change any of these nutritional indices in H. assulta. The acute toxicity of capsaicin measured by injection into early fifth instar larvae was less in H. assulta than in H. armigera and H. zea. Injection of high concentrations produced abdominal paralysis and self-cannibalism. Injection of sub-lethal doses of capsaicin resulted in reduced pupal weights in H. armigera and H. zea, but not in H. assulta. The results indicate that H. assulta is more tolerant to capsaicin than the other insects tested, suggesting that this has facilitated expansion of its host range within Solanaceae to Capsicum after introduction of the latter to the Old World about 500 years ago. The increased larval survival and growth due to chronic dietary exposure to capsaicin suggests further adaptation of H. assulta to that compound, the mechanisms of which remain to be investigated.
Article
Traditional medicines provide fertile ground for modern drug development, but first they must pass along a pathway of discovery, isolation, and mechanistic studies before eventual deployment in the clinic. Here, we highlight the challenges along this route, focusing on the compounds artemisinin, triptolide, celastrol, capsaicin, and curcumin.
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