Pro-vitamin A carotenoids in East African highland banana and other Musa cultivars grown in Uganda



  • Authors : Mbabazi, R.; Harding, R.; Khanna, H.; Namanya, P.; Arinaitwe, G.; Tushemereirwe, W.K.; Dale, J.; Paul, J.Y.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2020

  • Journal title : Food Science & Nutrition

  • Volume (number) : 8 (1)


  • Pages : 311-321

  • Peer-reviewed : Yes

  • ISSN : 2048-7177

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.) are an important staple and food security crop in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, where the consumption of East African highland banana (EAHB) is the highest in the world, the population suffers from a high incidence of vitamin A deficiency (VAD). Since the consumption of pro-vitamin A carotenoids (pVAC) made available through the food staple can help alleviate these ailments, we set out to identify the most suitable banana variety to use in future biofortification strategies through genetic engineering. The study focussed on eight popular Musa cultivars grown in the heart of banana farming communities and across the three major agricultural zones of Uganda. The fruit pVAC concentration varied considerably within and across the cultivars tested. These variations could not be explained by the altitude nor the geographical location where these fruits were grown. More than 50% of the total carotenoids present in EAHB cultivars was found to comprise of α- and β-carotene, while the retention of these compounds following traditional processing methods was at least 70%. Storage up to 14 days postharvest improved carotenoid accumulation up to 2.4-fold in the cultivar Nakitembe. The technical challenge for a successful biofortification approach in Uganda using genetically modified EAHB lies in guaranteeing that the fruit pVAC content will invariably provide at least 50% of the estimated average requirement for vitamin A regardless of the growing conditions.

  • Keywords : PLANTAIN; COOKING; CAROTENOIDS; SITE FACTORS; VITAMIN CONTENT; VITAMIN A; UGANDA; EAST AFRICAN HIGHLAND BANANAS; LOCAL CULTIVARS; RIPENING STAGE

  • Open access : Yes

  • Document on publisher's site : open View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN200011


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