|Authors: ||L.C. Pereira, G.B. Ngoh Newilah, M.W. Davey, I. Van den Bergh|
|Keywords: ||carotenoids, colour chart, colorimetry, high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), plantain|
Banana and plantain (Musa spp.) fruits have been shown to be a potentially rich source of provitamin A carotenoids (pVACs) and can thus play a key role in reducing vitamin A deficiency in developing countries.
Recently, the screening of over 170 Musa genotypes indicated that there is substantial genetic diversity in the pVACs contents of banana and plantain fruit pulp.
Additional screening of the more than 6000 accessions maintained in over 60 field genebanks worldwide is highly desirable, but detailed pVACs analysis by spectrophotometry and reversed phase-high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) is both time consuming and expensive, due to the need for specialised equipment and technical expertise.
The aim of this work was to validate alternative colour-based prescreening techniques for measuring fruit pVACs contents.
The prescreening techniques used showed that pulps with white-cream coloration contained low levels of carotenoids, while those with more orange colour had levels of carotenoids ranging from low to high.
The regression models tested indicated a positive correlation between Musa pulp colour and carotenoids content (significant at P<0.001), especially for the lower colour scores.
The correlation was stronger for the yellowness index measured by colorimetry than for the DSM colour chart scores.
It is expected that these results will allow researchers to reduce the costs and time required for pVACs analysis by prescreening field germplasm collections by colour-based methods and selecting only the most interesting accessions for precision analysis.
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