- A team of Indian researchers from the School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University and other institutions has successfully decoded the molecular basis of extreme fiery hot (pungency) property of Bhut jolokia (Capsicum chinense) which is native of northeast India; Bhut jolokia has the highest pungency level in the world.
- In the study, many varieties belonging to C. chinense, C. frutescens, C. annuum were studied and comparative analysis carried out for pungency, vitamins and other metabolites. The high level of pungency and vitamins was found to be positively correlated with high antioxidant activities — the higher the pungency of the capsicum variety the higher was its antioxidant property.“Pungency and vitamin C show high correlation, and these two along with other metabolites have high antioxidant activity,”
- “The capsicum Bhut jolokia [popularly known as ghost chilli] has more anticancer property compared with other capsicum varieties,”
- “The scavenging property is useful in humans and animals as it neutralises the free radicals which are otherwise harmful,”
- Seventeen varieties of C. chinense species had high pungency of over 0.9 million scoville heat unit, which is higher than what has been previously reported.
- While earlier studies have looked at antioxidant property of capsicum, the studies were limited to a few varieties.
- But for this study the researchers examined 136 varieties of capsicum from northeast India belonging to three species — 63 varieties of C. chinense, 17 varieties of C. frutescens and 56 varieties of C. annuum.
- Maximum pungency was seen in C. chinense varieties followed by C. frutescens; C. annuum had the least pungency.
Source: The Hindu