Effect of cooking locally available common bean (Obwelu) on iron and zinc retention, and pumpkin (Sweet cream) on provitamin A carotenoid retention in rural Uganda.
Abstract: Pumpkin is a potential rich source of vitamin A precursors called provitamin A carotenoids (PVACs), while common bean is a potential rich source of iron and zinc. This study evaluated the effect of cooking locally available pumpkin, Sweet cream (Cucurbita moschata) on PVACs retention in Uganda. Furthermore, the effect of cooking locally available common bean, Obwelu (Phaseolus vulgaris) on iron and zinc retention was evaluated. Expert caregivers from the local community cooked pumpkin by either boiling or steaming, while common bean was cooked by either boiling with prior soaking or boiling without prior soaking. PVACs in raw and cooked pumpkin were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), while iron and zinc in raw and cooked common bean were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS). Conversion of PVACs into vitamin A retinol activity equivalents (RAE) was calculated using the Institute of Medicine (2001) recommendations for the bioconversion of PVACs into vitamin A. Micronutrient retention was measured using true retention. β-carotene, α-carotene, and vitamin A content in raw pumpkin was 1,704 µg/100 g, 46 µg/100 g and 1,437 µgRAE/100 g, respectively. Either boiling or steaming pumpkin resulted in over 100% retention of PVACs and vitamin A. Iron and zinc retention for boiled common bean with prior soaking was 92.2% and 91.3%, respectively. Boiling common bean without prior soaking resulted in 88.4% and 75.6% retention of iron and zinc, respectively. In conclusion, to retain a high proportion of PVACs caregivers should be advised to cook Sweet cream by either boiling or steaming, while to retain a high proportion of iron and zinc, Obwelu should be prepared by boiling with prior soaking.View full text