Carotenoid Retention in Immature Corn Ear Grains Subjected to Different Thermal Treatments

  •  Natália Barbosa    
  •  Maria Cristina Paes    
  •  Paulo Evaristo Guimarães    
  •  Joelma Pereira    


Processed food products may undergo changes in chemical composition during processing, leading to potential losses in nutritional value. The objective of this study was to determine carotenoid retention in immature grains of normal corn (BRS1030) and corn biofortified (BRS4104) with vitamin A precursors subjected to different thermal treatments: cooking in a microwave, cooking in a pressure cooker, cooking in a pot with a lid and cooking in a pot without a lid. The experiment had a completely randomized design in a factorial scheme (cultivar and type of cooking). The carotenoids were extracted in a sequential organic solvent scheme and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results were submitted to analysis of variance (ANOVA), and when significant, the means were compared using the least significant difference (LSD) test (p = 0.05). Despite cultivars, the concentrations of carotenoid vitamin A precursors and total carotenoids in the immature corn grains were reduced after cooking the ears in a microwave or in a pressure cooker. The best treatments for preserving carotenoids according to the conditions studied are cooking in a pot with a lid and in a pot without a lid.

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