Mbela Domina Esther Nkuba, Kinabo Joyce, Mwanri Akwilina Wendelin and Ekesa Beatrice
Dietary diversification is one of the strategies to address nutrient deficiencies. The study modified eight diets for children aged 6-23 months in order to improve diversify; vitamin A content and its bio-accessibility. All samples were analysed in triplicates. Three carotenes; all-trans α-carotene, 13-cis-β-carotene and all-trans β-carotene were determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Bio-accessibility was assessed using invitro bio-accessibility model in three phases; simulated gastrointestinal system oral, gastric and intestinal. The analysed provitamin A Carotenoids (pVACs) were converted into ‘Retinol Activity Equivalents’ (RAE), and determined total RAE of the modified diets ranged from 8.8 to 137.4 µg/100g, and after in-vitro digestion ranged from 0.87 to 13.3µg/100g. The bio-accessibility of pVACs ranged from 12.2% to 33.6%. In cooked food, pumpkin fruit contributed high amount of provitamin A followed by palm oil, ‘Bira’ and amaranths. ‘Bira’ banana variety contributed high pVACs than local ‘Nshakala’ banana variety. pVACs from pumpkins leaves were more accessible than those from amaranths and red palm oil fruit. Our results suggests that when carrying out interventions to improve diets, it is very important to take into account the estimation of dietary source of vitamin A and pVCAs and their bio-accessibility to meet nutritional requirements for vitamin A.
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