Melatonin content of pepper and tomato fruits: effects of cultivar and solar radiation

Food Chem. 2014 Aug 1:156:347-52. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.01.117. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


We evaluated the effect of cultivar and solar radiation on the melatonin content of Capsicum annuum (pepper) and Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruits. The melatonin content of red pepper fruits ranged from 31 to 93ngg(-1) (dry weight). The melatonin content of tomato ranged from 7.5 to 250ngg(-1) (dry weight). We also studied the effect of ripeness on melatonin content and identified one group of pepper cultivars in which the melatonin content increased as the fruit ripened and another in which it decreased as the fruit ripened. Under shade conditions, the melatonin content in most of tomato cultivars tended to increase (up to 135%), whereas that of most pepper cultivars decreased (to 64%). Overall, the results also demonstrated that the melatonin content of the fruits was not related to carbon fluxes from leaves.

Keywords: Capsicum annuum; N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine; Solanum lycopersicum; UHPLC-MS/MS.

MeSH terms

  • Capsicum / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Melatonin / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*


  • Melatonin