Color of Corn Grains and Carotenoid Profile of Importance for Human Health


The increasing on the levels of carotenoids in staple foods of broad human consumption is one of the strategies of food biofortification programs, mainly due to the importance of these compounds to human health on the prevention of vitamin A deficiency. Maize is a major staple food due to its high consumption in regions where problems of Vitamin A deficiency are of great relevance. Maize biofortification programs have made progress in determining the amounts of carotenoids in grain of thousands of accesses. This work aimed at studying the influence of the color of the grains in the profile of carotenoids in four different Brazilian genotypes. The selection of ears within the same genotype was based on a color scale, considering the lighter (lightest yellow) in one group and the most colorful (darkest orange) in another group. Significant interactions (p < 0.05) between the color of the grains and the genotypes for all the variables were detected in addition to genetic variability for both groups (lightest yellow and darkest orange). The colored ears of corn showed a high level of total carotenoids (TC) and fractions in RS 535 and RS 445, and the colorful ears of genotype RS 535 showed 300% more α + β carotenes (μg·g-1) in relation to lighter of this same material. The results of this study showed the influence of genotype on the grain color and content of carotenoids, indicating that breeders have the flexibility to make selection of some genotypes based on grain color, reducing cost and time compared to laboratory methods used for the screening of genetic materials.

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Almeida Rios, S. , Dias Paes, M. , Cardoso, W. , Borém, A. and Teixeira, F. (2014) Color of Corn Grains and Carotenoid Profile of Importance for Human Health. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 857-862. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.56099.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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