Effect of style of home cooking on retention and bioaccessibility of pro-vitamin A carotenoids in biofortified pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Duch.)
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Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) is a food crop targeted for enrichment with pro-vitamin A carotenoids. We investigated retention of pro-vitamin A carotenoids in pulp from orange fleshed pumpkin that was briefly steamed or boiled in either water or water containing 60% sucrose in five genotypes grown in Brazil. Bioaccessibility of pro-vitamin A carotenoids in cooked pulp was also determined by their transfer to mixed micelles during in vitro digestion and confirmed by their accumulation in Caco-2 human intestinal cells. Pulp from the biofortified genotypes contained 209-658 mu g/g fresh weight pro-vitamin A and retention of the carotenes during cooking exceeded 78%. Bioaccessibility of beta-carotene and alpha-carotene was poor (<4%), highly variable and affected by food matrix and style of cooking. The estimated quantity of beta-carotene equivalents transferred to mixed micelles during simulated digestion of cooked pulp from one genotype has the potential to provide more than 40% of the Estimated Average Requirement of vitamin A for children 4-8 years of age per 100 g serving. Possible causes for the low bioaccessiblity of pro-vitamin A in pumpkin are discussed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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