Procurement of β-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin in households of Brazil’s urban areas
Palavras-chave:Brazilian national consumption survey. Carotenoids. Fruit and vegetable consumption. Food habits and income. Nutrition education.
ResumoAn assessment was made of the consumer accessibility by income to carotenoids in the eleven major Brazilian urban centers. The consumption data published by the POF (National Household Budget Survey, 1995-1996) and the Brazilian database on food carotenoids provided the basis for the study. The USDA-NCC Carotenoid Database for US foods was used whenever the carotenoid content was not found locally. Prudent individual daily intakes of beta-carotene (3 to 6mg), pro-vitamins A (5.2 to 6mg) and total carotenoids (9 to 18mg) were far from attained by the poorer households in all of the regions studied, but the availability rose as the level of income increased in all regions. The principal foods identified, which significantly contributed to the carotenoid supply were: (β-carotene) carrots, squash, mango and tomato, (lycopene) tomato, tomato sauce, watermelon and papaya, (lutein and zeaxanthin) corn flour, kale, lettuce and orange. The study suggests that consumption of carotenogenic foods in Brazil may have been low at the time, despite the wide natural distribution and abundance in the country. The implications that low consumption of carotenogenic foods may have on public health came to be better known in more recent years, but the data should be useful when comparing with the 2002/2003 POF.
. The authors wish to thank Dr. Marina Vieira da Silva, USP-ESALQ and Dr. Delia Rodriguez-Amaya, UNICAMP-FEA for their valuable contributions and to FINEP-CNPq PRONEX-Carotenóides for its financial support.
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