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Spain: A project to develop healthier peppers and onions

A team from the Center for Agricultural Food Research and Technology of Aragon (CITA) is part of a state project that aims to identify the genes associated with quality characteristics in onions and peppers, so as to develop new varieties with greater health benefits.

The doctors and researchers that are part of the Aragonese team are Cristina Mallor, Ana Garces-Claver, and Oreto Fayos, who are working with groups from the University of A Coruña, the University of Burgos, and the University of Cadiz. The project is called Application of genomic and metabolomic tools for the study of pungent character in pepper and onion.

Both crops are widely consumed worldwide because they have high nutritional and healthy qualities. The components related to itching or pungency, the so-called cysteine ​​sulfoxides in onion and capsaicinoids and capsaicinoids in pepper, stand out.

Both consumers and producers demand greater production of traditional crops and improved versions that contain beneficial compounds for health. To achieve this, this research wants to deepen the study of these compounds, isolating and quantifying them to identify the genes that are part of their synthesis.

The research is expected to yield results in the short, medium, and long term. The short term goal includes generating useful tools and methodologies for the productive sector. In the medium term, the research will observe new varieties with greater added value, differentiating characteristics, and qualities that are beneficial for health.

Finally, in the long term, producers of onions and peppers will be able to better use the phytogenetic resources of these two horticultural crops in Spain.

Garces-Claver and Cristina Silvar, from the University of A Coruña, said that foreign researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Mexico), the University of Turin (Italy) and the National Institute of Agricultural and Veterinary Research (Portugal) were also working on the project.

Source: Europa Press

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