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Food Funct. 2017 Dec 13;8(12):4693-4702. doi: 10.1039/c7fo01382e.

Evaluation of the impact of food matrix change on the in vitro bioaccessibility of carotenoids in pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) slices during two drying processes.

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Institute of Farm Product Processing, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China.


The food matrix is a limiting factor in determining the bioaccessibility of carotenoids. The impact of food matrix change on the bioaccessibility of carotenoids during drying processes is still unknown. The effect of intermittent microwave vacuum-assisted drying (IMVD) and hot air drying (HAD) on the in vitro liberation and micellization of carotenoids in pumpkin slices was studied. This variable depended on the changes of the matrix driven by the drying process. Different changes in the cell morphology and carotenoid distribution of pumpkin slices during the two processing methods were observed. For IMVD, cell wall degradation and complete chromoplast organelle disruption contributed to the improvement in the liberation and micellization of carotenoids. In the HAD-dried sample, large pigment aggregates hindered the liberation of carotenoids. The carotenoid level in the micellar fraction appeared to be lower than that in the aqueous supernatant during the two processes, suggesting that the new obstacles formed during processing and/or digestion hindered the incorporation of carotenoids in mixed micelles.

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