Screening for Total Carotenoids and β-Carotene in Some Widely Consumed Vegetables in NigeriaD.M. Sahabi, R.A. Shehu, Y. Saidu, A.S. Abdullahi.
Ten different locally grown and widely consumed vegetables were selected for the screening of total carotenoids and β-carotene contents. The pigments were extracted by solvent extraction and the concentrations determined using UV-visible spectrophotometer. Carrot (Daucus carota) has the highest values of both the total carotenoids (397.8 ± 2.0 µg/g) and β-carotene (203.0 µg/g). Squash (C. moschata) has the lowest concentrations of total carotenoids (20.3 ± 2.0 µg/g) while cabbage has the lowest β-carotene (24.41 ± 9.8 µg/g). These vegetables, if properly processed, may serve as good sources of provitamin A in addition to other nutritional roles. The potentials of these vegetables as candidates for biofortification with β -carotene for the eradication of vitamin A deficiency were discussed.
Key words: Vegetables, Carotenoids, β-carotene, Vitamin A deficiency