Rocío Elizabeth Meneses Lazo, René Garruña


Background. Habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) is a vegetable of economic interest, its fruits have unique characteristics of flavor and pungency. Its pungency is due to the capsaicinoids, which were the starting research interest on this crop. In this review, the historical scientific information about habanero pepper in Mexico was analyzed, in order to have an overview of the past, present and the perspectives for research. Objective. To analyze the scientific research of habanero pepper in different regions of Mexico and identify its importance as a model plant study. Methodology.  Fifteen databases and several key words were used to found the scientific research articles. Using their titles and aims, articles were grouped in eight research topic: 1) Biochemistry, 2) Genetics-Biotechnology, 3) Microbiology-Pests-Diseases, 4) Nutrition, 5) Physiology-Phenology, 6) Agronomic productivity, 7) Plant genetic resources and 8) Food and medical uses. The publications were sorted by year and region, the status of the journals and impact factor were analyzed. Main findings. In total 127 articles were analyzed and 69.3% of these were carried out at Yucatan Peninsula, 67% were published in journals indexed in the Journal of Citation Reports (JCR). Along years, publications of habanero peppers increased in other regions of Mexico; in addition, the research topics diversified. The first research article about habanero pepper in Mexico was published in 1998. In the area of biochemistry there were more publications (29), of which 24 were indexed in JCR. Implications. Most of the research of habanero pepper in Mexico can be classified as basic science, few manuscripts were about applied research. Conclusions. The capsaicinoids studies were the topic detonating research interest in this species as a model plant study, over time, the themes on this crop were diversified and the number of articles on habanero pepper has strengthened. However, more emphasis should be placed on studies focusing in solving the main problems of producers.


Tropical crop; vegetable; scientific research; Mexican crop production

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