EVALUATION OF CAPSAICIN CONTENT IN PARTS OF SOME PEPPERS GROWN IN NIGERIA
The capsaicin content in parts (placenta, seeds and periderm) of some peppers grown in some parts of Nigeria was evaluated. Capsaicin was extracted from the pepper parts was carried-out via the solvent extraction technique using methanol. A Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer, (GCMS QP-2010, Shimadzu Analytical Instruments) was used for determination of capsaicin content. Capsaicin content was highest in the placenta, followed by the seeds for all the pepper samples utilized in the study. The outer flesh (periderm) had the lowest content of capsaicin. The capsaicin content of the placenta ranged from 1.1652±0.0002 in the Yellow pepper from Nsukka (Capsicum chinense) to 0.3226±0.0002mg/g in the “Atarugu” pepper (Capsicum annuum var) obtained from Zaria. The capsaicin content of the outer flesh ranged from 0.4619±0.0050 in the Yellow pepper from Nsukka (Capsicum chinense) to 0.0070±0.0002mg/g in the “Atarugu” pepper (Capsicum annuum var) obtained from Zaria. The parts of the yellow pepper (Capsicum chinense) had higher capsaicin content than the respective parts of the remaining peppers analyzed in the study. Also, the pepper parts of Capsicum chinense variety had higher capsaicin contents than those of Capsicum annuum, with parts of the large-fruited Capsicum annuum var having the least capsaicin content.