Researchers studied the effect of the growing season on the antioxidant components of greenhouse sweet pepper crops, which is of scientific interest because of their possible beneficial health effects.
The total antioxidant activity (estimated by ferric reducing antioxidant power-FRAP assay) major antioxidants (ascorbic acid, phenolics and carotenoids) and taste fruit quality characteristics (soluble solids, titratable acidity, dry matter and sugars) were recorded in soilless-grown sweet pepper cultivars of red, orange, yellow and green color at four harvesting season months, i.e., February (winter), May (spring), July (summer) and October (autumn).
The results showed seasonal variations in antioxidant components and activity of pepper fruits. In most cases, measured parameters showed higher values in spring (May) and summer (July) compared with winter (February) and autumn (October) growing seasons.
This study indicates that during late autumn and winter, lower levels of solar irradiance, ultraviolet radiation and temperature in Mediterranean greenhouses can be insufficient to stimulate phytochemicals production in peppers; thus, plant–light interception must be more actively managed.