A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Posted 2:43 PM by Luigi
Carotenoid content of pandanus fruit cultivars and other foods of the Republic of Kiribati
Dr Lois Englberger says she now has a pdf of this paper in Public Health Nutrition: 9(5), 631–643.
Lois Englberger, William Aalbersberg, Usaia Dolodolotawake, Joseph Schierle, Julia Humphries, Tinai Iuta, Geoffrey C Marks, Maureen H Fitzgerald, Betarim Rimon and Mamarau Kaiririete
Submitted 1 March 2005: Accepted 10 August 2005
Background: Kiribati, a remote atoll island country of the Pacific, has serious problems of vitamin A deficiency (VAD). Thus, it is important to identify locally grown acceptable foods that might be promoted to alleviate this problem. Pandanus fruit (Pandanus tectorius) is a well-liked indigenous Kiribati food with many cultivars that have orange/yellow flesh, indicative of carotenoid content. Few have been previously analysed.
Aim: This study was conducted to identify cultivars of pandanus and other foods that could be promoted to alleviate VAD in Kiribati.
Method: Ethnography was used to select foods and assess acceptability factors. Pandanus and other foods were analysed for b- and a-carotene, b-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and total carotenoids using high-performance liquid chromatography.
Results: Of the nine pandanus cultivars investigated there was a great range of provitamin A carotenoid levels (from 62 to 19 086mg b-carotene/100 g), generally with higher levels in those more deeply coloured. Seven pandanus cultivars, one giant swamp taro (Cyrtosperma chamissonis) cultivar and native fig (Ficus tinctoria) had significant provitamin A carotenoid content, meeting all or half of estimated daily vitamin A requirements within normal consumption patterns. Analyses in different laboratories confirmed high carotenoid levels in pandanus but showed that there are still questions as to how high the levels might be, owing to variation arising from different handling/preparation/analytical techniques.
Conclusions: These carotenoid-rich acceptable foods should be promoted for alleviating VAD in Kiribati and possibly other Pacific contexts where these foods are important. Further research in the Pacific is needed to identify additional indigenous foods with potential health benefits.
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