Hplc Analysis of Capsaicin

1092 words 5 pages
HPLC Analysis of Capsaicin
Eric Sorenson
Work Completed on 11/28/12

Quantitative analysis of Capsaicin was analyzed in three peppers that were expected to differ greatly in their capsaicin content and thus their relative spiciness. The idea was to have a nice range of capsaicin concentrations to clearly reflect the subjective pain one experiences from biting into a chili. Fresh Habanero, Jalapeno and Red Bell Pepper were purchased from the local Family Fresh grocery store to be analyzed via HPLC. This capsaicin project consisted of three stages to ensure proper and accurate analysis. The first stage was the preparation of the three samples for injection into the HPLC. One gram of fine powder of each pepper was obtained by
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It was no surprise to me how much the habanero clocked in above the jalapeno pepper and in fact I was actually suspecting the content to be higher. Many factors influence the capsaicin content of peppers, including the geographical origin of its cultivation, how freshly picked the pepper is, and the particular strain of the pepper. The habanero pepper I purchased from the local grocery store was simply labeled as Habanero and no other information provided. It could very well be that the pepper I purchased was on the low end of the Habanero spectrum, and a more sophisticated selection of Habanero could yield a spicier variant. More than a decade ago the Habanero pepper was considered to be the world’s hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records but has been long surpassed since then by a large number of peppers, specially cultivated and genetically modified to maximize the capsaicin content. Some of these notable peppers include the Infinity chili or the Ghost pepper. Jalapenos which are genuinely spicy typically can be eaten on their own with a moderate amount of kick when they have been pickled. Eating a fresh one is significantly more intense and will elicit a powerful pain response. I was not surprised that there was capsaicin peaks in the red bell peppers because the content was as low as it was. Even though these peppers are advertised