Carotenoid and anthocyanin contents of grains of Brazilian maize landraces.J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Jul; 91(9):1548-53.JS
Carotenoid and anthocyanin contents of 26 maize landraces cultivated in southern Brazil were determined to evaluate their potential as natural colorants or functional food ingredients.
The major carotenoids detected in the whole grain flour were zeaxanthin and lutein. Anthocyanins of landraces with purple starchy endosperm (Lingua de Papagaio and Mato Grosso Palha Roxa) were more extractable in methanol-HCl (1%, v/v), exhibiting 2.45 and 0.94 g kg(-1) of whole grains flour, respectively. In contrast, butanol-HCl (30%, v/v) was more effective for the extraction of anthocyanins from the purple-colored landraces Roxo 29 and Roxo 41; genotypes with pigments localized in the outer parts (pericarp) of grains (2.60 and 2.19 g kg(-1)). The Roxo 41 landrace showed the highest concentration of pigments, e.g. 11.72 10(-3) g kg(-1) of total carotenoids and 2.16 g kg(-1) of total anthocyanins. Similarly, the yellow-colored MPA 1 and the purple-colored Roxo 29 landraces showed prominent amounts of carotenoids (10.86 10(-3) g kg(-1)) and anthocyanins (2.60 g kg(-1)), respectively.
Our findings suggest that the colored grains of maize landraces studied may hold promise for the development of grain-based functional foods or natural colorants regarding their carotenoid and anthocyanin contents and as genetic resource in breeding programs.