Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is an active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. Capsaicin and several other related compounds such as dihydrocapsaicin (Figure 1) are called capsaicinoids and are produced as secondary metabolites by chili peppers. Pure capsaicin is a hydrophobic, colorless, odorless, crystalline-to-waxy compound.
Because of the burning sensation caused by capsaicin when it comes in contact with the mucous membranes found in the mouth, it is frequently used in food products to give them added spice or heat
The degree of heat found within a food can be measured on the Scoville scale, however, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis is a more accurate method of calculating heat pungency caused by capsaicin content in a food product.
This application note describes the analysis of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin by HPLC by using a modular chromatographic system comprised of a Waters 2707 Autosampler, 1525 Binary HPLC Pump, 2489 Dual Wavelength UV/VIS Detector and 1500 Series column oven. The resulting method possessed excellent area count reproducibility, retention time reproducibility, reliable quantitation, and low carryover performance, demonstrating the excellent performance of this modular system.