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Carotenoid profiling in tubers of different potato (Solanum sp) cultivars: Accumulation of carotenoids mediated by xanthophyll esterification

Fernandez-Orozco, Rebeca, Gallardo-Guerrero, Lourdes, Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso
Food chemistry 2013 v.141 no.3 pp. 2864-2872
Solanum, antheraxanthin, biochemical pathways, cultivars, esterification, esters, lutein, neoxanthin, nutritive value, potatoes, staple foods, tubers, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin
The carotenoid profile of sixty potato cultivars (commercial, bred, old and native cultivars) has been characterised in order to provide information to be used in selective breeding programs directed to improve the nutritional value of this important staple food. Cultivars were segregated into three groups according to the major pigment in the carotenoid profile: violaxanthin (37 cultivars; especially those with higher carotenoid content), lutein (16 cultivars), and neoxanthin (7 cultivars). Other minor carotenoids were antheraxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene, while zeaxanthin was absent in all sample. The total carotenoid content ranged from 50.0 to 1552.0μg/100g dry wt, with an average value of about 435.3μg/100g dry wt. Sipancachi, Poluya and Chaucha native cultivars showed the highest carotenoid content (1020.0, 1478.2 and 1551.2μg/100g dry wt, respectively). Xanthophyll esters were present in most cultivars, mainly as diesterified forms, being observed a direct correlation between the carotenoid content and the esterified fraction, suggesting that the esterification process facilitates the accumulation of these lipophilic compounds within the plastids. Therefore, the presence of xanthophyll esters should be a phenotypic character to be included in the breeding studies, and more efforts should be dedicated to the understanding of the biochemical process leading to this structural modification of carotenoids in plants.