Hypovitaminosis A is a world public health problem, mainly in developing and underdeveloped countries. Sweet potato (Ipomoea potatoes) is a food that is easily accessible, inexpensive, and can offer to the population high levels of pro-vitamin A carotenoids (pVACs), which helps to control this deficiency. This project aims to analyze the carotenoid content and profile in orange-fleshed sweet potato genotypes before and after thermal processing. Twenty-two sweet potato genotypes belonging to the FAPESP project (nº 2017 / 08032-0): "Development of sweet potato genotypes tolerant to high temperatures through participatory breeding" will be evaluated for total carotenoid contents (by UV-Vis spectrophotometry). In the genotypes that stand out, carotenoid profiles (by high performance liquid chromatography, HPLC) will be determined. Similar procedures will be performed on thermally processed sweet potatoes. The levels of pVACs will be converted to retinol activity equivalent (RAE) and will represent the vitamin A levels. With the results, we will be able to identify genotypes with higher levels of pro-vitamin A, contributing to biofortification programs, helping to decrease or eradicate hypovitaminosis A.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: