African Adansonia digitata fruit pulp (baobab) modifies provitamin A carotenoid bioaccessibility from composite pearl millet porridges

  • Hawi Debelo
  • Cheikh Ndiaye
  • Johanita Kruger
  • Bruce R. Hamaker
  • Mario G. FerruzziEmail author
Original Article


Food-to-food fortification of staple cereal products using nutrient-dense plants shows promise to address multiple micronutrient deficiencies including vitamin A, iron and zinc in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is limited information on the potential interaction effects that such food-to-food fortified strategies may have on individual micronutrient bioavailability. The main objective of the current study was to investigate the impact of incorporating Adansonia digitata (baobab fruit pulp), a mineral-rich plant material, on the delivery of carotenoids from a composite cereal porridge. Formulations of native fruit/vegetable-cereal composites were screened for interactions which could influence both bioaccessibility and subsequent intestinal uptake of provitamin A carotenoids. Proportions of pearl millet flour and plant materials were dry blended to provide composite cereal porridges with total provitamin A carotenoid concentrations ranging from 3590.7 ± 23.4 to 3698.5 ± 26.5 μg/100 g (fw) and baobab concentrations ranging from 0 to 25% (dw).While there were no significant differences in provitamin A carotenoid bioaccessibility from porridge formulations containing 5 or 15% baobab, inclusion of 25% baobab resulted in a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in bioaccessibility (13.3%) as compared to the control (23.8%). Despite the reduced bioaccessibility, 6 h uptake efficiency of provitamin A carotenoids by Caco-2 human intestinal cells was not significantly altered by 25% baobab inclusion. These findings suggest that the inhibitory effects on carotenoid micellarization (bioaccessibility) observed with increased baobab addition may not ultimately limit the bioavailability of carotenoids.


Provitamin A carotenoids Bioaccessibility Baobab Micronutrients Fortification 



This study was funded by the USAID Food Processing & Post Harvest Innovation Lab (FPLAID-0AA-L-14-00003) and Sorghum & Millet Innovation Lab (SMILAID-0AA-A-13-00047) through United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


  1. AACC (2000) Approved methods of analysis, 10th edn. AACC International, St. PaulGoogle Scholar
  2. Affognon H, Mutungi C, Sanginga P, Borgemeister C (2015) Unpacking postharvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa: a meta-analysis. World Dev 66:49–68. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. AOAC (2000) Official Methods of analysis of AOAC International, 17th edn. AOAC International, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  4. Biehler E, Hoffmann L, Krause E, Bohn T (2011a) Divalent minerals decrease micellarization and uptake of carotenoids and digestion products into caco-2 cells. J Nutr 141:1769–1776. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Biehler E, Kaulmann A, Hoffmann L et al (2011b) Dietary and host-related factors influencing carotenoid bioaccessibility from spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Food Chem 125:1328–1334. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bozalan NK, Karadeniz F (2011) Carotenoid profile, total phenolic content, and antioxidant activity of carrots. Int J Food Prop 14:1060–1068. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braca A, Sinisgalli C, De Leo M et al (2018) Phytochemical profile, antioxidant and antidiabetic activities of Adansonia digitata L. (Baobab) from Mali, as a source of health-promoting compounds. Molecules. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Burton-Freeman BM, Sandhu AK, Edirisinghe I (2017) Mangos and their bioactive components: adding variety to the fruit plate for health. Food Funct 8:3010–3032. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Chivandi E, Mukonowenzou N, Nyakudya T, Erlwanger KH (2015) Potential of indigenous fruit-bearing trees to curb malnutrition, improve household food security, income and community health in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review. Food Res Int 76:980–985. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Corte-Real J, Iddir M, Soukoulis C et al (2016) Effect of divalent minerals on the bioaccessibility of pure carotenoids and on physical properties of gastro-intestinal fluids. Food Chem 197:546–553. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Corte-Real J, Bertucci M, Soukoulis C et al (2017) Negative effects of divalent mineral cations on the bioaccessibility of carotenoids from plant food matrices and related physical properties of gastro-intestinal fluids. Food Funct 8:1008–1019. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Desmarchelier C, Borel P (2017) Overview of carotenoid bioavailability determinants: from dietary factors to host genetic variations. Trends Food Sci Technol 69:270–280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edwards AJ, Nguyen CH, You C-S et al (2002) α- and β-Carotene from a commercial carrot puree are more bioavailable to humans than from boiled-mashed carrots, as determined using an extrinsic stable isotope reference method. J Nutr 132:159–167. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Failla ML, Chitchumroonchokchai C, Ishida BK (2008) In vitro micellarization and intestinal cell uptake of cis isomers of lycopene exceed those of all-trans lycopene. J Nutr 138:482–486. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Ferruzzi MG, Failla ML, Schwartz SJ (2001) Assessment of degradation and intestinal cell uptake of carotenoids and chlorophyll derivatives from spinach puree using an in vitro digestion and Caco-2 human cell model. J Agric Food Chem 49:2082–2089. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferruzzi MG, Lumpkin JL, Schwartz SJ, Failla M (2006) Digestive stability, micellarization, and uptake of β-carotene isomers by Caco-2 human intestinal cells. J Agric Food Chem 54:2780–2785. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Garrett DA, Failla ML, Sarama RJ (2000) Estimation of carotenoid bioavailability from fresh stir-fried vegetables using an in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell culture model. J Nutr Biochem 11:574–580. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Groote HD, Kariuki SW, Traore D et al (2018) Measuring consumers’ interest in instant fortified pearl millet products: a field experiment in Touba, Senegal. J Sci Food Agric 98:2320–2331. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Grune T, Lietz G, Palou A et al (2010) β-Carotene is an important vitamin a source for humans. J Nutr. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Hickenbottom SJ, Follett JR, Lin Y et al (2002) Variability in conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A in men as measured by using a double-tracer study design. Am J Clin Nutr 75:900–907. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hiranvarachat B, Suvarnakuta P, Devahastin S (2008) Isomerisation kinetics and antioxidant activities of β-carotene in carrots undergoing different drying techniques and conditions. Food Chem 107:1538–1546. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kamatou GPP, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM (2011) An updated review of Adansonia digitata: a commercially important African tree. S Afr J Bot 77:908–919. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kean EG, Hamaker BR, Ferruzzi MG (2008) Carotenoid bioaccessibility from whole grain and degermed maize meal products. J Agric Food Chem 56:9918–9926. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Knockaert G, Pulissery SK, Lemmens L et al (2012) Carrot β-carotene degradation and isomerization kinetics during thermal processing in the presence of oil. J Agric Food Chem 60:10312–10319. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lipkie TE, De Moura FF, Zhao Z-Y et al (2013) Bioaccessibility of carotenoids from transgenic provitamin A biofortified sorghum. J Agric Food Chem 61:5764–5771. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Ma T, Tian C, Luo J et al (2015) Influence of technical processing units on the α-carotene, β-carotene and lutein contents of carrot (Daucus carrot L.) juice. J Funct Foods 16:104–113. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Milani A, Basirnejad M, Shahbazi S, Bolhassani A (2017) Carotenoids: biochemistry, pharmacology and treatment. Br J Pharmacol 174:1290–1324. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Nair MK, Augustine LF, Konapur A (2016) Food-based interventions to modify diet quality and diversity to address multiple micronutrient deficiency. Front Public Health. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. O’Sullivan L, Ryan L, O’Brien N (2007) Comparison of the uptake and secretion of carotene and xanthophyll carotenoids by Caco-2 intestinal cells. Br J Nutr 98:38–44. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Reboul E, Richelle M, Perrot E et al (2006) Bioaccessibility of carotenoids and vitamin E from their main dietary sources. J Agric Food Chem 54:8749–8755. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Sánchez-Rangel JC, Benavides J, Heredia JB et al (2013) The Folin-Ciocalteu assay revisited: improvement of its specificity for total phenolic content determination. Anal Methods 5:5990–5999. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sugiyama H, Akazome Y, Shoji T et al (2007) Oligomeric procyanidins in apple polyphenol are main active components for inhibition of pancreatic lipase and triglyceride absorption. J Agric Food Chem 55:4604–4609. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Tomas M, Sagdic O, Catalkaya G et al (2018) Effect of dietary fibre addition in tomato sauce on the in vitro bioaccessibility of carotenoids. Qual Assur Saf Crops Foods 10:277–283. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Uusiku NP, Oelofse A, Duodu KG et al (2010) Nutritional value of leafy vegetables of sub-Saharan Africa and their potential contribution to human health: a review. J Food Compos Anal 23:499–509. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. van der Merwe R, Kruger J, Ferruzzi MG et al (2019) Improving iron and zinc bioaccessibility through food-to-food fortification of pearl millet with tropical plant foodstuffs (moringa leaf powder, roselle calyces and baobab fruit pulp). J Food Sci Technol 56:2244–2256. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. WHO (2009) Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk 1995–2005. WHO Global Database on Vitamin A Deficiency. Newsletter 4:5–6Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hawi Debelo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheikh Ndiaye
    • 3
  • Johanita Kruger
    • 4
    • 5
  • Bruce R. Hamaker
    • 3
  • Mario G. Ferruzzi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science, Plants for Human Health InstituteNorth Carolina State UniversityKannapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Food SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  4. 4.Department of Consumer and Food SciencesUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  5. 5.Institute of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

Personalised recommendations