Determination of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in Capsicum fruit samples using high performance liquid chromatography

Molecules. 2011 Oct 24;16(10):8919-29. doi: 10.3390/molecules16108919.


The aim of the present study was to determine the content of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in Capsicum samples collected from city markets in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), calculate their pungency in Scoville heat units (SHU) and evaluate the average daily intake of capsaicin for the population of Riyadh. The investigated samples consisted of hot chillies, red chillies, green chillies, green peppers, red peppers and yellow peppers. Extraction of capsaicinoids was done using ethanol as solvent, while high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used for separation, identification and quantitation of the components. The limit of detection (LOD) of the method was 0.09 and 0.10 µg/g for capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, respectively, while the limit of quantification (LOQ) was 0.30 and 0.36 µg/g for capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, respectively. Hot chillies showed the highest concentration of capsaicin (4249.0 ± 190.3 µg/g) and the highest pungency level (67984.60 SHU), whereas green peppers had the lowest detected concentration (1.0 ± 0.9 µg/g); green peppers, red peppers and yellow peppers were non pungent. The mean consumption of peppers for Riyadh city population was determined to be 15.5 g/person/day while the daily capsaicin intake was 7.584 mg/person/day.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Capsaicin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Capsaicin / analysis*
  • Capsaicin / chemistry
  • Capsicum / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Eating
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Saudi Arabia


  • Capsaicin
  • dihydrocapsaicin