Capsicum chinense Jacq., the Habanero pepper, obtained the designation of origin in 2010 due to the unique organoleptic properties given by the characteristics of soils in the Peninsula of Yucatán.
So, the aim of a recent study was to investigate the effect of soil composition on the profile and concentration of polyphenols, antioxidant activity, and its relationship with the degree of maturity in habanero pepper.
Pepper plants were grown in three soils named according to the Maya classification as: K’ankab lu’um (red soil); Box lu’um (black soil); and Chich lu’um (brown soil). The crops were cultivated in four different dates. The peppers were analyzed for antioxidant activity, profile and content of polyphenols.
The results indicated that peppers grown in black soil had the highest concentration of total polyphenols (122.78 ± 12.60 mg of gallic acid 100 g−1), catechin (61.64 ± 7.55 mg 100 g−1) and antioxidant activity by DPPH (86.51 ± 0.82%). Physicochemical characterization indicated that black soil has the highest concentration of organic matter (10.93 ± 0.23%), nitrogen (52.01 ± 7.05 mg kg−1), manganese (5.24 ± 0.45 mg kg−1) and electric conductivity (2.32 ± 0.16 d Sm−1) compared to the other soils evaluated.
These results demonstrate that the physicochemical composition of soils could be related to the biosynthesis of polyphenols in the habanero pepper.