Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown the apparent association between high fruit intake and lower incidence of chronic degenerative diseases. The chemo protective properties of fruits have been partly attributed to the antioxidants including phenolic compounds and carotenoids. With respect to the latter, no information is available for the smooth cayenne; a common variety of Ananas comosus grown in various counties of Kenya. Of particular concern is how duration under room temperature storage, will affect the carotenoids based on the challenging aspect of the perishability of the fruit. The levels of Lutein were investigated during storage of fruit samples of smooth cayenne sourced from Kiambu, Homabay, Kilifi, Kericho and Nyamira Counties, Kenya and analyzed within 7 days of storage under room temperature (21 to 25°C). High performance liquid chromatography method and one way ANOVA were employed instrumental and statistical analysis, respectively. The lutein levels ranged between 107.52±1.25 and 233.55±5.77 μg/100g being categorized as sufficient. Findings not only showed that the levels differed significantly among samples but as well increased during storage (p<0.05), hence this show the effect of storage on the nutritional value of the fruit. While the fruit consumption should be promoted for the sufficient levels of lutein which can be useful in addressing chronic degenerative diseases, the longer the storage of the fruit will enhance the levels of the carotenoid.
Key words: Ananas comosus, smooth cayenne, lutein, carotenoids, chronic degenerative diseases.
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