Large genetic variation in carotenoid content has been reported after screening roots from thousands of cassava genotypes. Moreover, these pigments have to withstand different processing methods before cassava is consumed. True retention of beta-carotene from cassava roots that had been boiled, oven-dried, sun-dried, shadow-dried, or used for gari preparation was measured. True retention was also measured after storing for 2 or 4 weeks some of the products of these processing methods. Oven-drying, shadow drying and boiling retained the highest levels of beta-carotene (71.9, 59.2 and 55.7%, respectively) and gari the lowest (about 34.1%). Higher retention was observed when dried roots were kept as chips rather than as flour. Storage of flour packed in plastic bags under vacuum unexpectedly resulted in higher losses than storage of flour packed in plastic bags without the application of vacuum. Losses were higher during the first 2 weeks and tended to be considerably lower during the second 2 weeks of storage.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2007) 87 (3) 388-393 [doi: 10.1002/jsfa.2704]