Objective: To evaluate the phenological development and fruit quality of habanero
pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) with three nutrient solutions.
Design / Methodology / Approach: In a hydroponic system the nutrient solutions
of Steiner, Hoagland and Soria were used to evaluate the phenology, morphology
and pungency (spicy-hotness) of the habanero pepper fruits.
Results: It was observed that the nutrient solution of Soria brought flowering 4 d
ahead, but it delayed fruiting by 2 d compared to the other treatments. Steiner
solution incremented length (4 cm), diameter (2.9 cm), weight (8 g) and moisture
content (89%) of the fruit compared to the other nutrient solutions. Capsaicin and
dihydrocapsaicin increased in plants watered with Steiner nutrient solutions (24
and 12.5 mg g -1 , respectively) and Soria (23 and 12.7 mg g -1 , respectively), as well
as Scoville units (> 538,000).
Study limitations / Implications: Although favorable results were found in some
treatments, more studies are required to evaluate the nutrient composition of the
different organs of habanero pepper plants, by phenological stages.
Findings / Conclusions: Considering phenology, fruit quality and capsaicinoids
content, the Steiner nutrient solution could be a suitable option for cultivating
habanero peppers in hydroponic systems.