Metabolomic characterization of italian sweet pepper (Capsicum annum L.) by means of HRMAS-NMR spectroscopy and multivariate analysis

Mena Ritota, Federico Marini, Paolo Sequi, Massimiliano Valentini

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59 Citations (Scopus)


HRMAS-NMR spectroscopy was used to assess the metabolic profile of sweet pepper (Capsicum Annum L.). One-dimensional and two-dimensional NMR spectra, performed directly on sample pieces of few milligrams, hence without any chemical and/or physical manipulation, allowed the assignment of several compounds. Organic acids, fatty acids, amino acids, and minor compounds such as trigonelline, C4-substituted pyridine, choline, and cinnamic derivatives were observed with a single experiment. A significant discrimination between the two sweet pepper varieties was found by using partial least-squares projections to latent structures discrimination analysis (PLS-DA). The metabolites contributing predominantly to such differentiation were sugars and organic and fatty acids. Also a partial separation according to the geographical origin was obtained always by analyzing the NMR data with PLS-DA. Some of the discriminating molecules are peculiar for pepper and contribute to define the overall commercial and organoleptic quality so that HRMAS-NMR proved to be a complementary analysis to standard tools used in food science and, in principle, can be applied to any foodstuff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9675-9684
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 2010



  • cultivar
  • metabolomics
  • PLS-DA
  • Sweet pepper
  • traceability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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