American Chemical Society
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Identification and Quantitative Analysis of Carotenoids and Their Esters from Sarsaparilla (Smilax aspera L.) Berries

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-20, 13:54 authored by Raúl Delgado-Pelayo, Dámaso Hornero-Méndez
The carotenoid composition of sarsaparilla (Smilax aspera L.) berries has been analyzed for the first time. Lycopene was found to be the main carotenoid (242.44 μg/g fresh wt) in the pulp, followed by β-carotene (65.76 μg/g fresh wt) and β-cryptoxanthin (42.14 μg/g fresh wt; including the free and esterified forms). Other minor carotenoids were lycophyll (13.70 μg/g fresh wt), zeaxanthin (8.56 μg/g fresh wt; including the free and esterified forms), lutein (0.94 μg/g fresh wt), and antheraxanthin (0.58 μg/g fresh wt). β-Cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin were present in free and esterified forms. β-Cryptoxanthin was mainly esterified with saturated fatty acids (capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic), although a low amount of β-cryptoxanthin oleate was also detected. In the case of zeaxanthin, only a monoester with myristic acid (zeaxanthin monomyristate) was identified. The diverse carotenoid profile, some with provitamin A activity, together with the relatively high content, up to 375 μg/g fresh wt, makes sarsaparilla berries a potential source of carotenoids for the food, animal feed, and pharmaceutical industries.