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Carotenoid content of different edible pandanus cultivars of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Englberger, L. and Aalbersberg, William G.L. and Schierle, J. and Marks, G.C. and Fitzgerald, M.H. and Muller, F. and Jekkein, A. and Vander Velde, N. (2006) Carotenoid content of different edible pandanus cultivars of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19 (6-7). pp. 484-494. ISSN 0889-1575

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As Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a serious problem in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), it is important to identify locally grown, acceptable sources of vitamin A. Pandanus fruit, a traditional Marshallese staple food, has a yellow-orange colouration suggesting substantial carotenoid content. However, few of the many Marshallese cultivars were previously analysed for nutrient content. Thus, this study was conducted in order to identify carotenoid-rich Marshallese pandanus cultivars that could be promoted to alleviate VAD. Ethnography was used to select cultivars and assess acceptability. Thirteen cultivars were analysed by two laboratories for α- and ß-carotene and other carotenoids using high-performance liquid chromatography. The cultivars contained a range of carotenoid levels (21–902 μg ß-carotene/100 g), with higher levels in cultivars having deeper yellow-orange coloured fruit; 10 cultivars had significant levels that meet estimated vitamin A requirements within normal consumption patterns. There was excellent agreement between the laboratories’ results. Pandanus has been increasingly neglected in recent years, but is still well liked and considered a Marshallese health food. The promotion of carotenoid-rich culturally acceptable pandanus cultivars could contribute to alleviating vitamin A, micronutrient, and chronic disease problems in the RMI and other Pacific contexts, particularly atoll islands, where pandanus is an important food.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
T Technology > TX Home economics
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > Institute of Applied Science
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2006 20:42
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2012 20:42

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