Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) is a food crop mainly produced for its nutrient-rich corms. This study aims to characterize the nutritional and antioxidant potential of fifty-nine genotypes of taro to identify the most interesting chemotypes. The traits evaluated were: starch, proteins, soluble sugars, total phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant capacity, assessed by Ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) methods. Results indicate that taro corms are a good source of nutritional and bioactive compounds. Also, significant variations were recorded between genotypes for the different parameters evaluated. Total phenolics content varied from 4.37± 0.02 to 115.21 ± 8.24 mg GAE/100 g dw, flavonoids from 0.25 ± 0 to 1.47 ± 0.07 mg quercetin equivalent (QE)/100 g dw, starch content from 0.31 ± 0.17 to 17.56 ± 0.27 mg/100 mg dw, proteins from 0.03 ± 0.03 to 0.80 ± 0.02 mg/100 mg dw and soluble sugars from 0.02 ± 0 to 8.10 ± 0.38 mg/100 mg dw. Antioxidant activities ranged from 39.20 ± 1.74 to 98.67 ± 1.62% for the ability to reduce DPPH and from 0.06 ± 0.03 to 12.16 ± 0.72 mg AAE/100 g dw for the ability to reduce iron (FRAP). These variations have allowed us to distinguish four chemotypes.
Key words: Colocasia esculenta, taro, nutritional compounds, bioactive compounds, breeding, Burkina Faso.
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