Journal Articles

Carotenoid Stability during Dry Milling, Storage, and Extrusion Processing of Biofortified Maize Genotypes

June 21, 2018

Ortiz D, Ponrajan A, Bonnet JP1, Rocheford T, Ferruzzi MG2. Carotenoid Stability during Dry Milling, Storage, and Extrusion Processing of Biofortified Maize Genotypes. J Agric Food Chem. 2018 May 9;66(18):4683-4691. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b05706.

Author information

1 Department of Agronomy , Universidad Nacional de Colombia , Bogotá , Colombia.

2 Plants for Human Health Institute , North Carolina State University , Kannapolis , North Carolina 28081 , United States.


Translation of the breeding efforts designed to biofortify maize ( Z. mays) genotypes with higher levels of provitamin A carotenoid (pVAC) content for sub-Saharan Africa is dependent in part on the stability of carotenoids during postharvest through industrial and in-home food processing operations. The purpose of this study was to simulate production of commercial milled products by determining the impact of dry milling and extrusion processing on carotenoid stability in three higher pVAC maize genotypes (C17xDE3, Orange ISO, Hi27xCML328). Pericarp and germ removal of biofortified maize kernels resulted in ∼10% loss of total carotenoids. Separating out the maize flour fraction (<212 μm) resulted in an additional ∼15% loss of total carotenoids. Carotenoid degradation was similar across milled maize fractions. Dry-milled products of Orange ISO and Hi27xCML328 genotypes showed ∼28% pVAC loss after 90-days storage. Genotype C17xDE3, with highest levels of all- trans-β-carotene, showed a 68% pVAC loss after 90-day storage. Extrusion processing conditions were optimal at 35% extrusion moisture, producing fully cooked instant maize flours with high pVAC retention (70-93%). These results support the notion that postharvest losses in maize milled fractions may be dependent, in part, on genotype and that extrusion processing may provide an option for preserving biofortified maize products.


biofortified maize; carotenoids; dry milling; extrusion; processing; provitamin A

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