Bioavailability of Beta Carotene in Traditional Fermented, Roasted Granules, Gari from Bio-Fortified Cassava Roots


Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is a major public health issue and of global concern, as it affects millions of preschool children and pregnant women worldwide. Bio-fortification has emerged as a technology with potential to sustainably alleviate VAD especially in the sub-Saharan Africa, using staples like cassava. This work studied bioavailability of beta carotene (BC) in two processed gari samples from bio-fortified cassava varieties: 01/1412 and 01/1371, using 40 weanling albino rats, grouped into four, acclimatized for 1 week and fed experimentally for 4 weeks. Plasma beta carotene (PBC) was determined with HPLC while bioavailable BC calculated using conventional linear dose response plot. The mean rat weight gain was 5.3 g with significant difference (p< 0.001) among them while mean PBC was 60.5 and 61.2 μg/dL for 01/1412 and 01/1371 respectively. From this study, a large variation of PBC among animals was found with a weak linear relationship between feed and PBC, showing that BC bioavailability is not limited to intake. The BC bioavailability of the samples was between 11% and 18% with sample from variety 01/1371 recording higher percentage (18%). Gari from bio-fortified cassava roots processed traditionally, had appreciable bioavailable BC, which can contribute to the fight against VAD and improve nutritional status in developing countries although the magnitude of the problem requires a combination of strategies, of which bio-fortification is just one. However, further work is necessary on public awareness and adoption of the product.

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O. Phorbee, I. Olayiwola and S. Sanni, "Bioavailability of Beta Carotene in Traditional Fermented, Roasted Granules, Gari from Bio-Fortified Cassava Roots," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 12, 2013, pp. 1247-1254. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.412159.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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