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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
  Year: 2009 | Volume: 8 | Issue: 9 | Page No.: 1512-1516
DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2009.1512.1516
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Beta Carotene Content of Commonly Consumed Foods and Soups in Nigeria

Rasaki Ajani Sanusi and Abimbola Eniola Adebiyi

Deficiency of vitamin A in the diets represents one of the key challenges affecting the developing world. However, beta-carotene is the most available/important source of pro-vitamin A in the diets of most people living in developing countries. It reportedly provides about 66% of vitamin A in their diets. In West Africa, much carotenoid is obtained from red palm oil, which is widely used in cooking. However, it has been reported that these available sources of pro-vitamin A are very often neglected by children and pregnant women who are more vulnerable or at risk of vitamin A deficiency. Also amount of dietary intakes of beta-carotene of Nigerians is not known. This study therefore aimed at determining the beta-carotene contents of some selected commonly consumed foods and soups in Nigeria. These foods and the soups were selected to reflect consumption across the three agro-ecological zones in Nigeria. Food samples were purchased from food vendors and were also obtained from people from these zones. The extraction of beta carotene in the matrices of the food samples was done using a modified method; while the determination of the beta carotene contents of the extracts was done using the ultra violet visible spectrophotometer. The beta carotene contents of the foods varied in each food group and the values obtained were similar to the values previously reported in the literature. Soups and stews had the highest concentrations of beta carotene. Also foods such as “moinmoin”, “akara”, bean porridge and yam pottage prepared with red palm oil had moderate amounts of beta carotene. Foods prepared from yellow maize such as “ogi”/pap and “eko”/ “agidi” had lower values. Generally, the beta carotene content of foods analyzed ranged from 6 μg/100 g in Fufu to 13,279 μg/100 g in ‘edikang ikong’ soup. The beta carotene content of a considerable number of foods and soups commonly consumed in Nigeria is hereby provided. This result therefore adds to the ‘food composition data’ available for Nigeria. Food consumption studies and dietary management will benefit from these analyses. Since dietary improvement and diversification has been recognized as the long term solution to controlling VAD, soups containing enough green leafy vegetables such as “edikang ikong”, “efo riro”, palm oil stew and foods prepared with red palm oil, which are rich sources of provitamin A should be consumed in increased amounts to address vitamin A deficiency.
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How to cite this article:

Rasaki Ajani Sanusi and Abimbola Eniola Adebiyi, 2009. Beta Carotene Content of Commonly Consumed Foods and Soups in Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 8: 1512-1516.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2009.1512.1516






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