Variations of β-carotene retention in a staple produced from yellow fleshed cassava roots through different drying methods
Background: New yellow cassava fresh roots biofortified with β-carotene are becoming popular in Sub-Saharan Africa in the making of traditional products for households. However, β- carotene is susceptible to rapid depletion during processing. Therefore, we investigated the impact of using different drying methods in processing these fresh Cassava roots.
Methods: We processed four newly released yellow fleshed cassava varieties (01/1371, 07/593, 07/539, and 07/0220) into fermented cassava chips, flour, and corresponding dough with sun, oven, and flash drying methods respectively. The β-carotene contents were analyzed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Percentage true retention (%TR) was computed.
Results: The results demonstrated that %TR in chips (13.7%), flour (11.7%), and dough (5.48%) from sun drying method had the highest level of β-carotene retention compared to oven (11.3%, 7.30%, and 3.47%) and flash (8.8%, 3.33%, and 1.24%) drying methods. The duration, intensity of heat used for drying, and variety had a significant effect on β-carotene retention. Variety 07/0220 with the highest β-carotene concentration (7.81±0.13µ/g) in the fresh roots did not necessarily have the highest concentration after processing. These results suggest that β-carotene retention is not only variety specific but also depends on the method of processing.
Conclusions: These results will support ongoing breeding efforts aimed at increasing pro-vitamin A content in Cassava. The information may also be significant to solutions considering fermented cassava flour and dough in Vitamin A deficient populations.
Keywords: Cassava, drying, fermented flour, carotenoids, retention, Lafun
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