Analytical methods for sweetpotato, cassava and maize were developed. In orange and salmon-fleshed sweetpotatoes, (all-E)-β-carotene predominated and results of spectrophotometric screening and HPLC quantification did not differ significantly. In yellow-fleshed sweetpotato and cassava, however, spectrophotometric screening overestimated the HPLC values because of the presence of several minor carotenoids. Aside from (all-E)-β-carotene, Z-isomers were present in cassava in appreciable amounts. For both crops, extraction with acetone or tetrahydrofuran:methanol (1:1), using a mortar and pestle or a Polytron homogenizer, gave equivalent results. Rehydration of dry maize at room temperature for 30 min or at 85 °C for 5, 10 or 15 min gave equivalent results. Concentrations obtained with the C18 and C30 columns did not differ significantly for zeaxanthin, lutein, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene in the all-E-configuration, but their Z-isomers were difficult to locate in the chromatogram obtained with the C30 column. Extraction with tetrahydrofuran:methanol (1:1) gave significantly lower results for zeaxanthin and lutein.
Food Chemistry (2007) 100 (4) 1734-1746 [doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.10.020]