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Concept: Cayenne pepper


The evidence base for the health effects of spice consumption is insufficient, with only one large population-based study and no reports from Europe or North America. Our objective was to analyze the association between consumption of hot red chili peppers and mortality, using a population-based prospective cohort from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III, a representative sample of US noninstitutionalized adults, in which participants were surveyed from 1988 to 1994. The frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 participants at least 18 years of age. Total and cause-specific mortality were the main outcome measures. During 273,877 person-years of follow-up (median 18.9 years), a total of 4,946 deaths were observed. Total mortality for participants who consumed hot red chili peppers was 21.6% compared to 33.6% for those who did not (absolute risk reduction of 12%; relative risk of 0.64). Adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics, the hazard ratio was 0.87 (P = 0.01; 95% Confidence Interval 0.77, 0.97). Consumption of hot red chili peppers was associated with a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death. Similar, but statistically nonsignificant trends were seen for deaths from vascular disease, but not from other causes. In this large population-based prospective study, the consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality. Hot red chili peppers may be a beneficial component of the diet.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Relative risk, Chili pepper, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Red Hot Chili Peppers


The use of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in F1 hybrid seed production of chili pepper is increasingly popular. However, the molecular mechanisms of cytoplasmic male sterility and fertility restoration remain poorly understood due to limited transcriptomic and genomic data. Therefore, we analyzed the difference between a CMS line 121A and its near-isogenic restorer line 121C in transcriptome level using next generation sequencing technology (NGS), aiming to find out critical genes and pathways associated with the male sterility.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Cytoplasmic male sterility, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, Jalapeño


The ghost pepper, or “bhut jolokia,” is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. Ghost peppers have a measured “heat” of > 1,000,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), more than twice the strength of a habanero pepper. To our knowledge, no significant adverse effects of ghost pepper ingestion have been reported.

Concepts: Capsicum, Capsaicin, Chili pepper, Scoville scale, Cayenne pepper, Chili peppers, Bhut Jolokia pepper, Habanero chili


ABSTRACT A novel disease resistance inhibitor gene (inhibitor of P. capsici resistance [Ipcr]), found in the chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) variety ‘New Mexico Capsicum Accession 10399’ (NMCA10399), inhibits resistance to Phytophthora capsici but not to other species of Phytophthora. When a highly P. capsici-resistant variety was hybridized with NMCA10399, the resultant F1 populations, when screened, were completely susceptible to P. capsici for root rot and foliar blight disease syndromes, despite the dominance inheritance of P. capsici resistance in chile pepper. The F2 population displayed a 3:13 resistant-to-susceptible (R:S) ratio. The testcross population displayed a 1:1 R:S ratio, and a backcross population to NMCA10399 displayed complete susceptibility. These results demonstrate the presence of a single dominant inhibitor gene affecting P. capsici resistance in chile pepper. Moreover, when lines carrying the Ipcr gene were challenged against six Phytophthora spp., the nonhost resistance was not overcome. Therefore, the Ipcr gene is interfering with host-specific resistance but not the pathogen- or microbe-associated molecular pattern nonhost responses.

Concepts: Plant pathogens and diseases, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Phytophthora capsici, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, Jalapeño


The study of crop origins has traditionally involved identifying geographic areas of high morphological diversity, sampling populations of wild progenitor species, and the archaeological retrieval of macroremains. Recent investigations have added identification of plant microremains (phytoliths, pollen, and starch grains), biochemical and molecular genetic approaches, and dating through (14)C accelerator mass spectrometry. We investigate the origin of domesticated chili pepper, Capsicum annuum, by combining two approaches, species distribution modeling and paleobiolinguistics, with microsatellite genetic data and archaeobotanical data. The combination of these four lines of evidence yields consensus models indicating that domestication of C. annuum could have occurred in one or both of two areas of Mexico: northeastern Mexico and central-east Mexico. Genetic evidence shows more support for the more northern location, but jointly all four lines of evidence support central-east Mexico, where preceramic macroremains of chili pepper have been recovered in the Valley of Tehuacán. Located just to the east of this valley is the center of phylogenetic diversity of Proto-Otomanguean, a language spoken in mid-Holocene times and the oldest protolanguage for which a word for chili pepper reconstructs based on historical linguistics. For many crops, especially those that do not have a strong archaeobotanical record or phylogeographic pattern, it is difficult to precisely identify the time and place of their origin. Our results for chili pepper show that expressing all data in similar distance terms allows for combining contrasting lines of evidence and locating the region(s) where cultivation and domestication of a crop began.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Maize, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Wildness, Cayenne pepper, Jalapeño


Addition of capsaicin (CAPS) to the diet has been shown to increase satiety; therefore, CAPS is of interest for anti-obesity therapy. We investigated the effects of CAPS on appetite profile and ad libitum energy intake in relation to energy balance. Fifteen subjects (seven women and eight men, age: 29.7 ± 10.8yrs, BMI: 23.3 ± 2.9 kg/m(2)) underwent four conditions in a randomized crossover design in 36 hour sessions in a respiration chamber; they received 100% of their daily energy requirements in the conditions “100%Control” and “100%CAPS”, and 75% of their daily energy requirements in the conditions “75%Control” and “75%CAPS”, followed by an ad libitum dinner. In the 100%CAPS and 75%CAPS conditions, CAPS was given at a dose of 2.56 mg (1.03 g of red chili pepper, 39,050 Scoville heat units) with every meal. Satiety (P < 0.05) and fullness (P = 0.01) were measured every waking hour and before and after every meal using visual analogue scales, and were higher in the 100%CAPS versus 100%Control condition. After dinner desire to eat, satiety and fullness did not differ between 75%CAPS and 100%Control, while desire to eat was higher (P < 0.05) and satiety (P = 0.06) and fullness (P = 0.06) tended to be lower in the 75%Control versus100%Control condition. Furthermore, ad libitum intake (P = 0.07) and overconsumption (P = 0.06) tended to decrease in 100%CAPS versus 100%Control. In energy balance, addition of capsaicin to the diet increases satiety and fullness, and tends to prevent overeating when food intake is ad libitum. After dinner, capsaicin prevents the effects of the negative energy balance on desire to eat.

Concepts: Capsicum, Capsaicin, Chili pepper, Scoville scale, Pepper spray, Cayenne pepper, Scotch bonnet, Tabasco pepper


Beet mild curly top virus (BMCTV) is associated with an outbreak of curly top in chili pepper, tomato and other Solanaceae species, which can cause severe crop losses. The aim of this work was to obtain the1H NMR metabolomic profiling of both healthy chili peppers (cv. mirasol) and infected chili peppers with BMCTV in order to find chemical markers associated to the infection process. Significant differences were found between the two groups, according to principal component analysis and orthogonal projections to latent structure discriminant analysis. Compared to the asymptomatic peppers, the symptomatic fruits had higher relative abundance of fructose, isoleucine, histidine, phenylalanine and tryptophan. Contrarily, the asymptomatic samples showed greater amounts of malonate and isobutyrate. These results suggest that in diseased chili peppers there are metabolic changes related to the viral acquisition of energy for replication and capsid assembly. This is the first study describing the chemical profiling of a polar extract obtained from Capsicum annuum infected by BMCTV under open field conditions.

Concepts: Principal component analysis, Fruit, Solanaceae, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper


In this study mango kernel starch (MKS) based heat sealable pouches were developed for packing of red chili powder. The films were prepared by casting technique using glycerol, sorbitol and 1:1 mixture of glycerol and sorbitol and were sealed. All films showed better heat sealing capacity but glycerol films plasticized exhibited higher seal strength than their counterparts. The red chili powder was packed in the MKS film pouches while commercially available polyethylene (PE) film was used as control. The pungency and color of red chili powder was monitored during six months storage at 40 °C. The capsaicinoid content was extracted from the red chili with acetonitrile and evaluated quantitatively using spectrophotometric method. The extractable color was measured by ASTA method using acetone. The results showed significant differences in color and pungency of chili packed in MKS and PE pouches. The highest reduction in capsaicinoid content (pungency) of chili powder was observed in PE pouch (25.9%) while lowest was observed in MKS pouch containing sorbitol (15.7%). Similarly color loss was also highest in chili packed in PE pouch while lowest in MKS-sorbitol pouch.

Concepts: Glucose, Pinniped, Capsicum, Capsaicin, Chili pepper, Spectrophotometry, Cayenne pepper, Chili powder


Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is an important horticultural crop in many regions of the world. The final shape and size of the fruit are known to be determined at a very early step of flower development. During flower development hormonal treatments using gibberellins seem to promote growth resulting in higher yield and fruit quality. However, the morphological changes that occur in the pepper flowers after these treatments are largely unknown. In the present study, we provide a description of floral development landmarks of jalapeño chili pepper (cultivar Huichol), divided in nine representative stages from its initiation until the opening of the bud. We established a correlation among external flower development and the time and pattern of reproductive organogenesis. Male and female gametogenesis progression was used to define specific landmarks during flower maturation. The pattern of expression of key genes involved in gibberellin metabolism and response was also evaluated in the nine flower stages. The proposed development framework was used to analyze the effect of gibberellin treatments in the development of the flower. We observed both an effect of the treatment in the histology of the ovary tissue and an increase in the level of expression of CaGA2ox1 and CaGID1b genes. The developmental stages we defined for this species are very useful to analyze the molecular and morphological changes after hormonal treatments.

Concepts: Developmental biology, Reproductive system, Fruit, Flower, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Cayenne pepper


In Brazil, cultivation of hybrid plants comprise near 40% of the area grown with vegetables. For Capsicum, hybrids of bell and chili peppers have already exceeded 50% and over 25% of all are commercialized seeds. This study aimed to evaluate new pepper hybrids in two environments, Cáceres, MT, and Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil. Nine experimental hybrids of C. baccatum var. pendulum were tested and trials were performed in a randomized block design, with three replications and eight plants per plot. In each environment, plants were assessed for canopy diameter, plant height, number of fruit per plant, mean fruit mass per plant, fruit length and diameter, pulp thickness, and content of soluble solids. Seven of the eight traits have differed significantly due to environment variation. Furthermore, genotype and environment interaction was highly significant for number of fruit per plant, mean fruit mass per plant, fruit length, and fruit diameter. Choosing a hybrid to be grown in one of the studied locations must be in accordance with the sought characteristics since there is a complex interaction for some studied traits.

Concepts: Fruit, Solanaceae, Seed, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Chili peppers