Carotenoids have antioxidant activity, but few are converted by the body into retinol, the active form of vitamin A. Among the 600 carotenoids with pro-vitamin A activity, the most common are α- and β-carotene. These carotenoids are susceptible to degradation (e.g., isomerization and oxidation) during cooking. The aim of this study was to assess the total carotenoid, α- and β-carotene, and 9 and 13-Z- β-carotene isomer contents in C. moschata after different cooking processes. The raw pumpkin samples contained 236.10, 172.20, 39.95, 3.64 and 0.8610 µg.g - 1 of total carotenoids, β-carotene, α-carotene, 13-cis-β-carotene, and 9-Z-β-carotene, respectively. The samples cooked in boiling water contained 258.50, 184.80, 43.97, 6.80, and 0.77 µg.g - 1 of total carotenoids, β-carotene, α-carotene, 13-Z-β-carotene, and 9-Z-β-carotene, respectively. The steamed samples contained 280.77, 202.00, 47.09, 8.23, and 1.247 µg.g - 1 of total carotenoids, β-carotene, α-carotene,13-Z-β-carotene, and 9-Z-β-carotene, respectively. The samples cooked with added sugar contained 259.90, 168.80, 45.68, 8.31, and 2.03 µg.g - 1 of total carotenoid, β-carotene, α-carotene, 13-Z- β-carotene, and 9-Z- β-carotene, respectively. These results are promising considering that E- β-carotene has 100% pro-vitamin A activity. The total carotenoid and carotenoid isomers increased after the cooking methods, most likely as a result of a higher availability induced by the cooking processes.
Jaeger de Carvalho, L.M.; Smiderle, L. de A.S.M.; Viana de Carvalho, J.L.; Neves Cardoso, F. de S.; Koblitz, M.G.B. Assessment of carotenoids in pumpkins after different home cooking conditions. Food Science and Technology (Campinas) (2014) 34 (2) 365-370. [DOI: 10.1590/fst.2014.0058]