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Water-soluble antioxidant potential of Turkish pepper cultivars
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In this work, 29 pepper cultivars that represent the diversity of types and varieties grown in Turkey were analyzed for water-soluble antioxidant capacity and phenolic and vitamin C contents. In addition, 14 non-Turkish cultivars were tested for comparison. Significant diversity was observed in the different cultivars with the most variation (7.4-fold) seen for total antioxidant capacity, which ranged from 2.57 to 18.96 mmol Trolox/kg. Vitamin C content for the peppers ranged from 522 to 1631 mg·kg-1, a 3.1-fold difference, whereas total phenolic content for the pepper cultivars ranged from 607 to 2724 mg·kg-1, a 4.5-fold difference. When cultivars were grouped by morphology/ use, it was found that some types had significantly more variation and higher antioxidant activities than other types. Thus, for water-soluble antioxidant capacity, most variation was seen in long, blunt-ended Çarliston types, whereas long, pointed Sivri peppers had the highest mean capacity. Bell-shaped Dolmalik and Sivri peppers had the most variation for phenolic content, but fancy Süs and Sivri types had the highest means for this trait. Dolmalik types showed the most variation for vitamin C content, whereas Süs and Sivri peppers had the highest means for this character. All three parameters were significantly and positively correlated with the strongest correlation between total antioxidant capacity and phenolic content (r = 0.71). The presence of significant variation for antioxidant content in Turkish germplasm indicates that this material can be used for improvement and genetic mapping of nutritional content in pepper.