Effect of genotype and environment on citrus juice carotenoid content.J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Oct 14; 57(19):9160-8.JA
A selection of orange and mandarin varieties belonging to the same Citrus accession and cultivated in Mediterranean (Corsica), subtropical (New Caledonia), and tropical areas (principally Tahiti) were studied to assess the effect of genotype and environmental conditions on citrus juice carotenoid content. Juices from three sweet orange cultivars, that is, Pera, Sanguinelli, and Valencia (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), and two mandarin species (Citrus deliciosa Ten and Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan), were analyzed by HPLC using a C(30) column. Annual carotenoid content variations in Corsican fruits were evaluated. They were found to be very limited compared to variations due to varietal influences. The statistical analysis (PCA, dissimilarity tree) results based on the different carotenoid compounds showed that citrus juice from Corsica had a higher carotenoid content than citrus juices from tropical origins. The tropical citrus juices were clearly differentiated from citrus juices from Corsica, and close correlations were obtained between beta-cryptoxanthin and phytoene (r = 0.931) and beta-carotene and phytoene (r = 0.918). More broadly, Mediterranean conditions amplified interspecific differentiation, especially by increasing the beta-cryptoxanthin and cis-violaxanthin content in oranges and beta-carotene and phytoene-phytofluene content in mandarins. Thus, at a quantitative level, environmental conditions also had a major role in determining the levels of carotenoids of nutritional interest, such as the main provitamin A carotenoids in citrus juice (beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene).