Chili fruits are a distinctive feature of Mexican diets. Chile de agua (Capsicum annuum L.) in the
Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico, are important economically, social, culturally, and especially
as food. Chili fruits were collected directly from the field to quantify the content of macro- and
micro-elements, protein, fats and capsaicin in the pericarp, seed and placenta and determine their
nutritional value and pungency. Nutrient content was determined in an atomic absorption
spectrophotometer, and P and S content was determined in a UV spectrophotometer. Protein was
quantified in an elemental organic analyzer, and for fat content the Soxhlet method was used. To
determine capsaicin in pericarp, seed and placenta of fresh chili fruits, extraction, purification
and quantification was performed with the Soxhlet method and in a UV spectrophotometer. The
seeds showed a significantly high content of protein (3.49 g 100g-1) and fats (1.19 g 100g-1).
Differences in capsaicin concentration were significant: placenta (19256.3Su) >seed (11034.7Su)
> pericarp (9525.3Su).