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Robert L. Jarret, Elizabeth Baldwin, Brian Perkins, Rod Bushway and Kelly Guthrie

Fruit of 40 genotypes of Capsicum frutescens L. from the US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service Capsicum germplasm collection were analyzed for a variety of fruit quality parameters, including fruit size, weight, and concentrations of capsaicinoids, sucrose, glucose, fructose, malic acid, and total acid equivalents. Fruit weight ranged from 0.23 g fresh weight to 4.04 g fresh weight (average 1.05g). Fruit length/width ranged from 1 to 8.0 (average, 3.61). Capsaicin concentrations ranged from 34 to 350 mg·100 g−1 fresh weight (average, 135 mg·100 g−1 fresh weight). Sucrose concentrations ranged from 0.28 to 1.0 g·100 g−1 (average, 0.6 g·100 g−1 fresh weight). Total sugar extracts ranged from 0.73% to 2.6% (average, 1.55%). Malic acid concentrations and total acid equivalents ranged from 0.62 to 2.29 g·100 g−1 fresh weight (average, 2.07 g·100 g−1 fresh weight) and 0.97 to 3.31 g·100 g−1 (average, 1.87 g·100 g−1) respectively. These data demonstrate an approximate 4 to 14-fold range in values for the characteristics examined, suggesting the presence of sufficient variability for these traits within this species to support the development of germplasm enhanced for specific or multiple fruit quality attributes.