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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1998 Jul;38(5):381-96.

Preservation of beta-carotene from carrots.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Physico-chimie et Genie Alimentaires, ENSAIA-INPL, Vandoeuvre, France.


Beta-carotene acts as a pro-vitamin A or anti-cancer compound. Carrots contain the highest amount of beta-carotene of common fruits and vegetables, but each year 25% of carrot production is lost in the U.S. during processing and storage, while, at the same time, the market demand increases. This article is a review of the most recent studies concerning beta-carotene retention in carrots during processing and storage. Reducing the water activity by adding some aw lowering ingredients results in poor shelf-life. Drying or freezing gives better retention during storage than reducing the water activity, if the process is well controlled. Canning or freeze-drying were shown to be more effective. The trans form of beta-carotene in carrots is replaced by the cis form during processing. Beta-Carotene can be extracted from carrots, but the half-life of free beta-carotene is reduced to 2 d in the juice extract at room temperature. By encapsulation methods,the half-life can be increased by 6 months.

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