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Relationships carotenoid composition-antioxidant activity. Assessment of possible interaction effects (INTERCAROTEN)
Start date: 01 Sep 2008, End date: 01 Oct 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The antioxidant activity (AA) of individual carotenoids has been much studied although data on possible interactions among them in mixtures are scarce. Since complex mixtures are ingested with foods, experiments addressing that question are needed. Thus, the assessment of the in vitro AA of extracts from carotenoid-rich staples will assist, through the application of statistical methods, in the design of model solutions to further study the existence of possible interactions among them. The conclusions obtained are expected to help design in vivo studies and optimized mixtures for food fortification. Changes in the biosynthesis of carotenoids and concomitant changes in AA in oranges over ripening will be also surveyed. The results obtained will be useful for the objectives described above as they accumulate virtually all the carotenoids regarded as most important for human health (the provitamins A α- and β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, Cara Cara oranges accumulating lycopene naturally). In addition, they will help understand the control of their synthesis in plants, since although such process are well-known biochemically, their regulation remains poorly understood. This part of the project is therefore intended to supply data for later initiatives, oranges being appropriate food models as they deposit carotenes, mono- and dihydroxycarotenoids, epoxicarotenoids and apocarotenoids, as well as high amounts of Z-isomers, which are raising growing interest. Lastly, the applicability of the objective measurement of colour in the quantitative estimation of carotenoids and their in vitro AA will be assessed. This research line is meant to propose such techniques for rapid measurements of those parameters, since their inherent characteristics (ultrafast non-destructive measurements, versatility, portability, etc.) make them potential tools to be harnessed for quality control."
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