Rapid and easy carotenoid quantification in Ghanaian starchy staples using RP-HPLC-PDA
This study comprises the development of a robust, rapid and cost-effective reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method with low solvent consumption (micro-approach) to quantify carotenoids in starchy staples, exemplified for cassava, maize and plantain matrices. For extraction, a mixture of 1 M potassium hydroxide in methanol and hexane (1:1) was used, enabling the simultaneous extraction and saponification of the sample extracts. Carotenoids were separated within 12 min on a C30 column using mixtures of methanol, methyl tert-butyl ether and water as mobile phases. Due to the implemented saponification process, the technique showed the potential to be applied for carotenoid analysis in other sample matrices exemplarily demonstrated for green leafy vegetables. Because of the low application and equipment costs, the analytical procedure qualifies for its application in quality management with limited budget. Concentrations of five major dietary carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, α-carotene and β-carotene) in cassava, cocoyam, yam, maize and plantain samples from the Ashanti region of Ghana were determined. Based on the restricted data on carotenoid contents of food available in West Africa, the results provide valuable additional information that can be used to expand local food composition tables and support the assessment of dietary carotenoid intake.