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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Dec 9;57(23):11134-9. doi: 10.1021/jf9025663.

Polyacetylene diversity and bioactivity in orange market and locally grown colored carrots (Daucus carota L.).

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  • 1Department of Research and Development, Standard Process Inc., Palmyra, Wisconsin 53156, USA.


Carrots contain a wide array of phytochemicals such as carotenoids, phenolics, alpha-tocopherol, and polyacetylenes. Carrots are most known for their pro-vitamin A carotenoids but also contain other phytochemicals with documented health benefits. The phytochemicals in colored carrots present a challenge and opportunity due to the wide diversity of potent bioactive compounds. Two commercial carrots, 1 wild carrot, and 13 colored carrot varieties were characterized phytochemically. The carrots were screened in an anti-inflammatory model of lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide production. Deep Purple carrot had the highest concentration of total polyacetylenes, alpha-tocopherol, and total phenolics. Commercial fresh market and baby orange carrots both had high concentrations of pro-vitamin A carotenoids. Purple carrots had higher antioxidant capacity values due to their anthocyanin content. Only seven carrot varieties had inhibitory activity (IC(25) = 257-1321 microg/mL) in macrophage cells. Among the varieties tested during the selected growing season, Deep Purple had the highest polyacetylene content and other important antioxidant phytochemicals. Further work is needed to identify other potential anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in colored carrots on the basis of this research.

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