Pumpkin Habanero Pepper Plant Debuts at Rutgers Day (Rutgers Today, 2017)
Researchers say the pumpkin habanero was an accidental discovery. They didn’t set out to develop a pumpkin-shaped pepper, but were trying to breed a variety that would be disease resistant, have a unique taste and appearance with high nutritional content. The pumpkin habanero is high in antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and beta-carotene. It was developed through traditional breeding methods by crossing varieties of Mexican and African habaneros over a six year period, Ayeni said.
Growing the Perfect Hot Pepper (YouTube, 2016)
Meeting the demand for locally grown ethnic produce (Hort Americas, 2016)
“The market for locally grown ethnic foods continues to expand,” Ayeni said. “We want to encourage growers to consider ethnic specialty crops so they may target production to meet the rapidly growing demand in the United States. These crops lend themselves to year-round production for sale, including at farmers markets.
“In general, immigrants from all over the world cherish the plant varieties that are prevalent in the food systems of their home countries. I would be delighted to see Rutgers University lead the way in promoting local production to make these crops available as fresh as possible to a growing consumer population.”
Since 2010, Albert Ayeni, ethnic crop specialist, Tom Orton, extension specialist in vegetable breeding, and Jim Simon, distinguished professor of natural plant products, have been evaluating the agricultural attributes of more than 40 exotic hot peppers at Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center (RAREC) in Bridgeton, NJ; the Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown NJ; and in New Brunswick on the Rutgers Cook Campus at Horticultural Farm 3.
- Faculty and Staff Pick a Peck of Hot Peppers (SEBS & NJAES, 2013)
- Rutgers leads project to breed new hot pepper varieties (The Packer, 2014)
- Hot Pepper Plots Picked Clean in ‘HYOP’ 2014 (SEBS & NJAES, 2014)
- Harvest Your Own Pepper Event Grows into Annual Tradition (SEBS & NJAES, 2015)
- Disease-Resistant Pepper Debuts At Rutgers Research Farm Event (Growing Produce, 2015)
- Ayeni’s Exotic Peppers a Hit at Rutgers (SEBS & NJAES, 2017)
- Perfect pepper for picky palates produced by plant professors (NJ.com, 2017)
- Rutgers Invents New Type Of Pepper (Patch.com, 2017)
- Introducing Rutgers’ pumpkin habanero: A cooler hot pepper (Philly.com, 2017)
- Rutgers’ new pumpkin-shaped pepper not so hot (NorthJersey.com, 2017)
- ‘Harvest Your Own Peppers Day’ on Oct. 24 (American Farm Publications, 2018)