|CHANG, JASMINE - University Of California|
|TURNER, TAMI - University Of California|
Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2010
Publication Date: 7/1/2011
Citation: Burri, B.J., Chang, J.S., Turner, T. 2011. Citrus can help prevent vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. California Agriculture. 65(3):130-135.
Interpretive Summary: California is a major producer of tangerines and oranges in the United States. Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin are carotenoids found in these fruits which form vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency, which causes blindness, is common in Southern Asia and Africa. We evaluated the potential of tangerines and oranges to prevent vitamin A deficiency by measuring their carotenoid concentrations. We estimated the amount of these citrus fruits needed to meet human vitamin A requirements. Then we determined the availability of oranges and tangerines in countries with vitamin A deficiency. We conclude that tangerines, but not oranges, could be useful in preventing vitamin A deficiency.
Technical Abstract: California is a major producer of tangerines and oranges, which contain carotenoids that form vitamin A. Deficiencies of this vitamin are common in southern Asia and Africa, causing blindness and more than one-half million deaths each year. We evaluated the potential of tangerines and oranges to prevent vitamin A deficiency worldwide by measuring their carotenoid concentrations, estimating the amounts needed to meet the recommended safe nutrient intake for vitamin A and determining their availability in countries with vitamin A deficiency. We conclude that tangerines — particularly Satsuma mandarins, which have high concentrations of the carotenoid betacryptoxanthin — but not oranges, could be useful in preventing vitamin A deficiency, though not as the sole source.