1) Which of the following are seen to be uses of capsicum?
1) Neutralize free radicals
2) AIDS treatment
3) Anti-cancer properties
All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 3
- A team of Indian researchers has successfully decoded the molecular basis of extreme fiery hot (pungency) property of Bhut jolokia (Capsicum chinense) which is native of northeast India;
- Bhut jolokia has the highest pungency level in the world.
- In the study, many varieties belonging to C. chinense, C. frutescens, C. annuum were studied and comparative analysis carried out for pungency, vitamins and other metabolites.
- The high level of pungency and vitamins was found to be positively correlated with high antioxidant activities - the higher the pungency of the capsicum variety the higher was its antioxidant property.
- Pungency and vitamin C show high correlation, and these two along with other metabolites have high antioxidant activity.
- When we tested the extract on in vitro cell-free assays the highly pungent capsicum varieties showed very high potential for free radical scavenging activity compared with low pungent varieties.
- To compare the free radical scavenging capacity of the capsicum varieties, the researchers generated free radical through chemical reactions and tested how effectively the extracts from different varieties scavenged the free radicals.
- The capsicum Bhut jolokia [popularly known as ghost chilli] has more anticancer property compared with other capsicum varieties.
- The scavenging property is useful in humans and animals as it neutralises the free radicals which are otherwise harmful.
- The team also identified crucial genes involved in pungency development.