Carotenoids and xanthophyll esters of yellow and red nance fruits (Byrsonima crassifolia (L.) Kunth) from Costa Rica

Food Res Int. 2018 Sep:111:708-714. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2018.05.063. Epub 2018 May 26.


Carotenoid profiles, by means of HPLC-PDA-MSn, and CIE-L*C*h° colour values of yellow and red nance fruits from Costa Rica were elucidated. Among 16 carotenoids detected, (all-E)-lutein was the most abundant accounting for >80% of the total carotenoids, followed by (all-E)-zeaxanthin (9-11%) and (all-E)-β-carotene (2-9%). Minor constituents were (Z)-isomers of lutein and β-carotene, as well as diverse lutein diesters. Among the esters, lutein dimyristate was the most abundant as substantiated by the comparison with a marigold flower extract. Total carotenoids in the peel (616.2 μg/100 g of FW in yellow nance and 174.2 μg/100 g of FW in red nance) were higher than in the pulp (39.4 μg/100 g of FW in yellow nance and 31.4 μg/100 g of FW in red nance). Since carotenoid profiles of yellow and red varieties were qualitatively similar, although the colour values showed significant differences (77.2 and 88.6 h° in peel and pulp of yellow nance, versus 32.7 and 67.3 h° in peel and pulp of red nance, respectively), pigments other than carotenoids may impart the colour of red nance. High lutein content renders nance fruit as a nutritionally relevant source of this micronutrient.

Keywords: Lutein; Lutein diesters; Macular carotenoids; Murici; Tagetes erecta L.; Zeaxanthin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / analysis*
  • Carotenoids / classification
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Color
  • Costa Rica
  • Esters / analysis*
  • Flowers / chemistry
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Lutein / analysis
  • Lutein / classification
  • Malpighiaceae / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Pigmentation
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Xanthophylls / analysis*
  • Xanthophylls / classification
  • Zeaxanthins / analysis
  • beta Carotene / analysis


  • Esters
  • Plant Extracts
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • beta Carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • Lutein