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Journal of the American Pomological Society
(J Am Pom Soc)

American Pomological Society

Volume 73 Number 4 Article 1 Pages: 198-205
Year 2019 Month 10
Title: Screening Underutilized Bananas for Carotenoid Content and Potential Health Benefits
Authors: Mahnaz Kargar, Floyd M. Woods, J. Raymond Kessler, Edgar L. Vinson III, Marisa M. Wall, Esendugue G. Fonsah, Kalidas Shetty, Ramesh B. Jeganathan, and Nicholas Larsen
Globally, banana (Musa spp.) is considered a daily dietary staple for millions of individuals that positively influences human health. Carotenoid enriched banana cultivars may serve as functional food sources to reduce the risk of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD’s). Although there is great diversity among commercial bananas, limited information is available concerning carotenoid content of non-traditional commercial cultivars adaptable to the southeastern United States and their market potential. Knowledge of diverse, underutilized, nontraditional, banana cultivars would readily assist in establishment and promotion of new niche markets, consumer demand and improvement in postharvest handling. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to compare and determine total carotenoid content of peel and pulp tissue of five underutilized, non-traditional, banana cultivars [‘Goldfinger’ (AAAB), ‘Hua Moa’ (AAB), ‘Kandarian’ (ABB), ‘Pisang Raja’ (AAB), ‘Saba’ (ABB)] ripening to the commercial industry standard ‘Williams’ (AAA), at four ripening stages. There was a significant (p ≤ 0.05) cultivar by ripening stage interaction for total carotenoid content in peel and pulp tissues. In most cultivars and ripening stages, the results for peel were higher than pulp except for overripe ‘Hua Moa’ pulp, which had the highest total carotenoid content. Peel total carotenoid content ranged from 6.35 to 18.26 μg·g-1 FW in transitional ‘Goldfinger’ and overripe ‘Saba’, respectively. In pulp tissue, mean total carotenoid content was measured from 1.44 μg·g-1 FW in mature green ‘Kandarian’ to 19.08 μg·g-1 FW and in overripe ‘Hua Moa’. ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Pisang Raja’, and ‘Hua Moa’ had higher pulp total carotenoid content when compared to ‘Saba’, ‘Kandarian’, and ‘Williams’. These results indicate that the tetraploid cultivars had higher carotenoid content compared to the triploid ones. In addition, among triploid genomes, AAB hybrids showed higher carotenoid content compared to ABB and AAA genomes. The nutrient-rich cultivars should be promoted for production and consumption due to their health benefits.

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