Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2007
Publication Date: April 30, 2007
Citation: Davis, A.R., Fish, W.W., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Levi, A., King, S. 2007. Carotenoid analysis using the puree absorbance method for germplasm screening [abstract]. HortScience. 42(3):453.
Many fruits and vegetables contain health-promoting compounds which require labor intensive analyses to detect. This is the case with quantifying carotenoids in fresh fruits and vegetables. Carotenoid content can vary significantly between varieties; therefore a method to rapidly screen germplasm for high carotenoid levels is desirable. Many labs have attempted to develop reflectance colorimetric methods to determine carotenoid content with varying degrees of success. Attempts to use reflective colorimetric values to estimate lycopene content in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai) has not been successful. To avoid the inherent problems with reflective color readings on the surface of cut watermelon, our group has successful utilized a Xenon Flash Spectrophotometer to measure absorbance of opaque purees of watermelon flesh. This absorbance can then be used to estimate total lycopene content in red fruit and total carotenoid content in canary yellow-fleshed watermelons. We have shown that our Puree Absorbance Method also works well for estimating lycopene in fresh tomato purees and many processed tomato products. Preliminary results suggest that this method will also work for beta-carotene in cantaloupe and prolycopene in orange watermelon. The puree absorbance method is fast, accurate, requires no hazardous solvents, and yields values comparable with other analytical methods. Its estimates and those by other analytical methods R2 values are observed between 0.88 and 0.99 depending on the type of fruit and carotenoid being evaluated.