Evaluation of the Potential of Freshly Bred Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato Varieties in Combating Vitamin A Deficiency
Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) is advocated as a rich and readily accessible source of vitamin A. This study was done to evaluate the potential of the newly bred OFSP varieties in combating vitamin A deficiency. OFSP varieties and white fleshed sweet potato (WFSP) varieties were used for the study. β-carotene was extracted with acetone and its spectrophotometric reading at 450 nm used to calculate its concentration. The optimum amount of OFSP required to meet vitamin A needs for children of different age groups were established. Results indicate that β-carotene was below detection levels in WFSP varieties but was detectable in OFSP varieties regardless of the processing treatment. The concentration varied significantly (P < 0.05) between OFSP varieties and between processing treatments. The reduction rate of β-carotene varied with processing treatments and was much higher in fried potatoes (3.2 –37.1%) than boiled potatoes (19.6 – 21%). This implies a higher retention rate of β-carotene (78.97% – 80.44%) in boiled than fried OFSP varieties (62.88% – 67.83%). The optimum amount of OFSP (g/day) required to meet +vitamin A requirements for 7–12 months to 10–13 years varied from 98.91 and 144.27 g/day to 148.36 and 216.41 g/day for Kiegea and Mataya cultivars (OFP varieties), respectively. The results provide an insight of the richness of OFSP varieties in β-carotene and its great potential in preventing vitamin A deficiency.
Keywords: Children; Age groups; β-carotene; Vitamin A requirements; Processing treatments
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