Changes in carotenoids during processing and storage of foods
Sommaire de l'article
Being highly unsaturated, carotenoids are susceptible to isomerization and oxidation during processing and storage of foods. Isomerization of trans-carotenoids to cis-carotenoids, promoted by contact with acids, heat treatment and exposure to light, diminishes the color and the vitamin A activity of carotenoids. The major cause of carotenoid loss, however, is enzymatic and non-enzymatic oxidation, which depends on the availability of oxygen and the carorenoid structure. It is stimulated by light, heat, some metals, enzymes and peroxides and is inhibited by antioxidants. Data on percentage losses of carotenoids during food processing and storage are somewhat conflicting, but carotenoid degradation is known to increase with the destruction of the food cellular structure, increase of surface area or porosity, length and severity of the processing conditions, storage time and temperature. transmission of light and permeability to O-2 of the packaging. Contrary to lipid oxidation, for which the mechanim is well established, the oxidation of carotenoids is not well understood. It involves initially epoxidation, formation of apocarotenoids and hydroxylation. Subsequent fragmentations presumably result in a series of compounds of low molecular masses. Completely losing its color and biological activities, the carotenoids give rise to volatile compounds which contribute to the aroma/flavor, desirable in tea and wine and undesirable in dehydrated carrot. Processing can also influence the bioavailability of carotenoids, a topic that is currently of great interest.