|KARGAR, MAHNAZ - Auburn University|
|WOODS, FLOYD - Auburn University|
|KESSLER, J. RAYMOND - Auburn University|
|VINSON, EDGAR L. - Auburn University|
|FONSAH, ESENDUGUE - University Of Georgia|
|SHETTY, KALIDAS - North Dakota State University|
|JEGANATHAN, RAMESH - Auburn University|
|LARSEN, NICHOLAS - University Of Florida|
Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2019
Publication Date: 10/1/2019
Citation: Kargar, M., Woods, F.M., Kessler, J., Vinson, E., Wall, M.M., Fonsah, E.G., Shetty, K., Jeganathan, R.B., Larsen, N. 2019. Screening underutilized banana for carotenoid content and potential health benefits. Journal of American Pomological Society. 73(4):198-205.
Interpretive Summary: Banana is a staple food in many countries because of its high nutritive value. Dessert bananas of the Cavendish subgroup (Musa sp., AAA group) comprise more than 95% of global banana trade, but do not contain significant amounts of carotenoids compared to entries identified in banana germplasm collections. In the current study, total carotenoid content was determined for peel and pulp tissue of five underutilized, non-traditional, banana cultivars at four ripening stages. In most cultivars and ripening stages, the carotenoid content of peel tissue was higher than pulp, with the exception of overripe ‘Hua Moa’ pulp, which had the highest total carotenoid content. Overall, total carotenoid contents of non-traditional banana cultivars were higher than the Cavendish cultivar by 4-fold, confirming the value of providing nutrient-rich banana cultivars to local markets and consumers.
Technical Abstract: Globally, banana (Musa spp.) is considered a daily dietary staple for millions of individuals that positively influences human health. Carotenoid enriched banana cultivars may serve as functional food sources to reduce the risk of non-communicable chronic diseases. Although there is great diversity among commercial bananas, limited information is available concerning carotenoid content of non-traditional commercial cultivars adaptable to the southeastern United States and their market potential. Knowledge of diverse, underutilized, non-traditional, banana cultivars would readily assist in establishment and promotion of new niche markets, consumer demand and improvement in postharvest handling. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to compare and determine total carotenoid content of peel and pulp tissue of five underutilized, non-traditional, banana cultivars [‘Gold finger’ (AAAB), ‘Hua Moa’ (AAB), ‘Kandarian’ (ABB), ‘Pisang Raja’ (AAB), ‘Saba’ (ABB)] to the commercial industry standard ‘Williams’ (AAA), at four ripening stages. There was a significant (p = 0.05) cultivar by ripening stage interaction for total carotenoid content in peel and pulp tissues. In most cultivars and ripening stages, the results for peel were higher than pulp except for overripe ‘Hua Moa’ pulp, which had the highest total carotenoid content. Peel total carotenoid content ranged from 6.35 to 18.26 µg·g-1 FW in transitional ‘Gold finger’ and overripe ‘Saba’, respectively. In pulp tissue, mean total carotenoid content was measured from 1.44 µg·g-1 FW in mature green ‘Kandarian’ to 19.08 µg·g-1 FW in overripe ‘Hua Moa’. ‘Gold finger’, ‘Pisang Raja’, and ‘Hua Moa’ had higher pulp total carotenoid content when compared to ‘Saba’, ‘Kandarian’, and ‘Williams’. These results indicate that tetraploid cultivars had higher carotenoid content compared to the triploid ones. In addition, among triploid genomes, AAB hybrids showed higher carotenoid content compared to ABB and AAA genomes. The nutrient-rich cultivars should be promoted for production and consumption due to their health benefits.