Quantification of β-carotene, lycopene and β-cryptoxanthin in different varieties and stages of ripening of mangoes grown in Mwala, Machakos county
Muli, David Musyoka
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Mangoes are rich in antioxidants, mainly β-carotene, β-cryptoxanrhin, violaxanthin and lycopene. β-Carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene have been shown to play an important rolein the prevention of several forms of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases andmacular degeneration. However, there is scarce data on nutraceutical levels in the various localand exotic mango varieties at different stages of ripening. The study was carried out to determinethe levels of β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene in six varieties of mangoes in Mwala,Machakos County. The compounds were analyzed on a reverse phase isocratic HPLC systemwith a UV detector. There was a significant difference (p<O.05) in the levels of β-carotene, ~-cryptoxanthin and lycopene among the six varieties at the mature unripe and ripe stages. β-Carotene was the predominant carotenoid in ripe mangoes with levels ranging from 3.74±0.44mgllOOg in Tommy Atkins mango to 1O.47±2.04 mgllOOg in Apple mango. However, in mature unripe mangoes it was significantly lower, ranging from O.21±O.04 mgllOOg in Tommy Atkinsmangoes to 2.22±O.39 mgllOOg in Keit mangoes. The level of p-cryptoxanthin in ripe mangoeswas highest in Apple cultivar (l07.23±16.34 jlg/lOOg) and lowest in Ndoto cultivar(36.67±11.63 jlgIlOOg). In mature unripe mangoes, the levels of ~-cryptoxanthin mangoes werealso lower ranging from 28.66±3.63 jlg/lOOg in Apple cultivar to 7.21±1.42 jlgllOOg in Ngowecultivar. Similarly, lycopene contents were higher in ripe mangoes (ranging from 16.96±4.07Ilg/lOOg in Keit to 53.98±9.23 jlgllOOg in Tommy Atkins cultivar) than in unripe mangoes(4.34±O.62 jlgllOOg in Keit cultivar to 8.01±1.41 jlgllOOg in the 'Kent cultivar). The studyreveals that mangoes have significant levels of β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene andtheir widespread consumption may contribute toward alleviating incidences of degenerativediseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammatory diseases of the skin, as wellas help boost immune system of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Further work is needed to assessother nutraceutical compounds such as violaxanthin and zeaxanthin in mangoes. The study laysdown some groundwork for more comprehensive analyses of mango varieties growing indifferent agro-ecological zones in Kenya and Eastern Africa. In addition, the methodology and results could provide a basis for quality control of growing number of commercial products of mango fruits by bodies such as the Kenya Bureau of Standard.