Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 127–133 | Cite as

Micellarisation of Carotenoids from Raw and Cooked Vegetables

  • L. Ryan
  • O. O’Connell
  • L. O’Sullivan
  • S. A. AherneEmail author
  • N. M. O’Brien


The efficiency of carotenoid micellarisation from plant foods can be used as an effective tool for the initial screening of carotenoid bioavailability. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were to assess the effects of cooking on the micellarisation of β-carotene, lycopene, β-cryptoxanthin and lutein from courgette (zucchini), red pepper and tomato; and, to a minor extent, investigate uptake of lutein by Caco-2 cells from micellar fractions obtained from raw and cooked courgettes. Both raw and cooked vegetables were subjected to an in vitro digestion procedure. β-Carotene levels were significantly decreased in the digesta from each vegetable after boiling, grilling, microwave-cooking, or steaming, however all of the cooking methods enhanced β-carotene transfer to micelles. Carotenoid micellarisation ranged from 1.7% to 100% depending on the food, carotenoid, and the cooking method tested. Grilling and microwave-cooking were generally the most detrimental on the transfer of xanthophyll carotenoids, namely β-cryptoxanthin, to the micelles. Caco-2 cells absorbed greater amounts of lutein from the micelles of microwave-cooked courgettes than those that were raw, boiled, grilled, or steamed. Depending on the cooking methods used, carotenoid retention as well as micellarisation varied for each carotenoid among the different vegetables and different carotenoids present in each particular food.


Bioaccessibility Carotenoids Cooking In vitro digestion Micellarisation 



high performance liquid chromatography



This work was supported by Science Foundation Ireland.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Ryan
    • 1
  • O. O’Connell
    • 1
  • L. O’Sullivan
    • 1
  • S. A. Aherne
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. M. O’Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity College CorkCorkRepublic of Ireland

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