ORONO — Researchers with the University of Maine and U.S. Department of Agriculture say they have developed a new variety of pepper that maintains the natural health benefits of the fruit while having a less pungent taste.

The university says in a statement that the pepper was developed “through traditional breeding methods” in the hopes of making the health benefits of hot peppers available to more people. Hot peppers are a source of anti-oxidants.

The researchers behind the new pepper are Robert Jarret of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Georgia and Jason Bolton and L. Brian Perkins from the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture. Perkins says the peppers will likely be prepared for market as a food product and for medical experiments.

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