Reports of the last decade show that some types of food and spices included in the human diet, such as pepper ( Capsicum annuum
L.) can have a positive effect on human health. The Mexican pepper germplasm is poorly documented with
regard to variety and the amount of phytochemical compounds that it contains. In the present study, the variation of
phytochemical compounds was evaluated in nine fruit variants (morphotypes) of wild and cultivated pepper grown in
Oaxaca. ANOVA detected significant differences among pepper morphotypes and ripeness stages of fruits; vitamin C, total
phenols, flavonoids, β-carotene, coordinated chromatic of color, and capsaicinoids. The highest values of vitamin C were
found in 'Tabaquero', 'Güero' and 'Costeño' morphotypes (151.6 to 183.2 mg 100 g-1
). With regard to total phenols and
flavonoids, 'Piquín' and 'Solterito' had the highest levels. Coordinates of color a* and b*, and chroma presented a positive
correlation with phenol and flavonoid contents. The evaluated morphotypes differed in capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin; C.
had higher capsaicin content (4.9 to 142 μg mL-1
) than dihydrocapsaicin (1.5 to 65.5 μg mL-1
) and C. pubescens
Ruiz & Pav. showed the opposite pattern.