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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1344-8. doi: 10.1021/jf803053d.

Impact of style of processing on retention and bioaccessibility of beta-carotene in cassava (Manihot esculanta, Crantz).

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Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


We previously demonstrated that the quantity of beta-carotene (BC) partitioning in mixed micelles during simulated small intestinal digestion, i.e., the bioaccessibility, of boiled cassava is highly correlated with the BC content of different cultivars. However, cassava is also traditionally prepared by fermentation and roasting. These different methods of preparation have the potential to affect both the retention and bioaccessibility of BC. Here, we first compared retention of BC in boiled cassava, gari (fermentation followed by roasting), and fufu (fermentation followed by sieving and cooking into a paste) prepared from roots of three cultivars. BC content in unprocessed cultivars ranged from 6-8 microg/g wet weight, with cis isomers accounting for approximately one-third of total BC. Apparent retention of BC was approximately 90% for boiled cassava and fufu. In contrast, roasting fermented cassava at 195 degrees C for 20 min to prepare gari decreased BC content by 90%. Retention was increased to 63% when temperature was decreased to 165 degrees C and roasting was limited to 10 min. Processing was also associated with a decline in all-trans-BC and concomitant increase in 13-cis-BC. The efficiency of micellarization of all-trans and cis isomers of BC during simulated digestion was 25-30% for boiled cassava and gari and independent of cultivar. However, micellarization of BC isomers during digestion of fufu was only 12-15% (P < 0.05). These differences in retention and bioaccessibility of BC from cassava products prepared according to traditional processing methods suggest that gari and fufu may provide less retinol activity equivalents than isocaloric intake of boiled cassava.

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