Characterization of fruit quality attributes in exotic and local hot pepper species
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Twenty-one local (15) and exotic (6) hot pepper genotypes (C. annuum, C. frutescens and C. chinense) were characterized for some fruit quality traits. The 21 genotypes were evaluated for five quantitative and 1 qualitative trait. A glasshouse trial was established at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo using a completely randomized design with three replicates. Ripe fruits were harvested and taken to the food chemistry laboratory at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition & Bio-Engineering (Makerere University) for further analysis. Quantitative data was entered in Excel and subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using GenStat statistical software (12th Edition). Hierarchical cluster analysis of both quantitative and qualitative traits was done using XLSTAT 2015. The analysis of variance showed that the traits evaluated were all significant at P<0.05. The results of the study showed variation in fruit quality attributes among the 21 Capsicum genotypes evaluated. Genotype OHA-B305-10 with the highest ascorbic acid content should be used in the improvement of hot pepper for high ascorbic acid content which is good for the fresh market. CAP0408-12 and UG2-WE0511-22 with highest total soluble solids and dry matter content respectively should be used in the improvement of hot pepper for industrial use or processing hot pepper to further products like chilli powder or flakes. UG2WE0511-22 should also be used in the improvement of hot pepper for long shelf life. Genotypes BRS-M205-04 with highest titratable acidity should be used in improving hot pepper for long shelf life and taste (for the fresh market). Although quantitative traits differed significantly, hierarchical cluster analysis showed intra-species relationships since species were clustered together irrespective of the genotypes sources i.e. whether they were locally accessed or sourced from Brazil, USA and China. The genotypes evaluated in this study will therefore be useful in future breeding programs aiming at improving the quality of hot pepper fruits in Uganda.