Capsaicinoids—chemical compounds that give hot peppers their kick—have come under study for their health benefits recently.
But their use is limited in pharmaceuticals by the same characteristics that make them popular as a spice—their heat.
Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service in Griffin, Ga., and the University of Maine, Orono, have identified new plant material that has high concentrations of non-pungent capsinoids, according to a news release.
The germplasm, designated 509-45-1, contains high concentrations of capsinoids but without capsaicinoids, or the heat-producing chemicals.
The material has been deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System, where other scientists can access it for research.
Capsinoids are known to provide antioxidant activity, enhance adrenal function, promote metabolism and suppress body fat accumulation, according to the release.