Preservation of β-carotene from carrots

Stephane A. Desobry, Flavia M. Netto, Theodore P. Labuza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


β-carotene acts as a pro-vitamin A or anti-cancer compound. Carrots contain the highest amount of β-carotene of common fruits and vegetables, but each year 25% of carrot production is lost in the U.S. during processing and storage, while, at the same time, the market demand increases. This article is a review of the most recent studies concerning β-carotene retention in carrots during processing and storage. Reducing the water activity by adding some aw lowering ingredients results in poor shelf-life. Drying or freezing gives better retention during storage than reducing the water activity, if the process is well controlled. Canning or freeze-drying were shown to be more effective. The trans form of β-carotene in carrots is replaced by the cis form during processing. β-Carotene can be extracted from carrots, but the half-life of free β-carotene is reduced to 2 d in the juice extract at room temperature. By encapsulation methods, the half-life can be increased by 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-396
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998


  • Carotenoids
  • Oxidation
  • Preservation
  • Retention
  • Storage
  • Supplementation
  • β-carotene


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