After cooking, biofortified corn and eggs retain nutrient needed to prevent blindness

November 15, 2017

Fortified and biofortified foods are at the forefront of efforts to combat vitamin A deficiency worldwide. But little is known about what influence processing may have on the retention of vitamin A precursors in these foods. Now in a study appearing in ACS Omega, scientists report that a high percentage of these healthful substances -- in some cases, almost all -- can survive cooking, depending on the preparation method.

Vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in Africa and Southeast Asia, causing an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 children to become permanently blind each year. Vitamin supplementation has helped. But scientists are also investigating ways to produce hybrid crops, such as corn, that contain more carotenoids, which are vitamin A-precursors that the body uses to manufacture the vitamin itself. Eggs are another source of these carotenoids, and researchers are attempting to boost the amount of these compounds in yolks. Sherry A. Tanumihardjo and colleagues wanted to find out whether cooking affects carotenoid levels in food.

In a series of experiments, the researchers cooked corn flour and eggs biofortified with carotenoids in various ways. Then, the foods were evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography. Boiled porridge retained the highest percentage of these compounds, while deep-fried cornmeal puffs (commonly known as "hush puppies") retained the least. Microwaving, pan-frying and hard-boiling eggs preserved carotenoids, but scrambling caused some destruction. Overall, the researchers conclude that these substances can be well-preserved when using most types of household cooking methods.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from Modernizacion Sustentable de la Agriculture, a program of SAGARPA-Mexico in collaboration with the CIMMYT (International Center of Wheat and Maize Improvement), the United States Department of Agriculture and HarvestPlus.

The study is freely available as an ACS AuthorChoice article here.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Vitamin Articles from Brightsurf:

Vitamin C's effectiveness against COVID may hinge on vitamin's natural transporter levels
High doses of vitamin C under study for treating COVID-19 may benefit some populations, but investigators exploring its potential in aging say key factors in effectiveness include levels of the natural transporter needed to get the vitamin inside cells.

Vitamin B6, leukemia's deadly addiction
Researchers from CSHL and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have discovered how Acute Myeloid Leukemia is addicted to vitamin B6.

Fatty foods necessary for vitamin E absorption, but not right away
A fresh look at how to best determine dietary guidelines for vitamin E has produced a surprising new finding: Though the vitamin is fat soluble, you don't have to consume fat along with it for the body to absorb it.

Vitamin D: How much is too much of a good thing?
A three-year study by researchers at the Cumming School of Medicine's McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed there is no benefit in taking high doses of vitamin D.

10 million new cases of vitamin D deficiency will be prevented by adding vitamin D to wheat flour
Adding vitamin D to wheat flour would prevent 10 million new cases of vitamin D deficiency in England and Wales over the next 90 years, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.

Muscling in on the role of vitamin D
A recent study conducted at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research has shed light on the role of vitamin D in muscle cells.

Vitamin D may not help your heart
While previous research has suggested a link between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a new Michigan State University study has found that taking vitamin D supplements did not reduce that risk.

Does sunscreen compromise vitamin D levels?
Sunscreen can reduce the sun's adverse effects, but there are concerns that it might inhibit the body's production of vitamin D.

How obesity affects vitamin D metabolism
A new Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study confirms that vitamin D supplementation is less effective in the presence of obesity, and it uncovers a biological mechanism to explain this observation.

Why vitamin E effect is often a matter of luck until now
Vitamin E's positive effects often fail to manifest themselves as strongly as expected, but sometimes administering vitamin E actually has detrimental effects.

Read More: Vitamin News and Vitamin Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.