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antioxidant compounds, carotenoids, carrot, colourproperties, sugars


Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is the most widely consumed root vegetable since it is an important source of nutritional compounds, mainly antioxidants and sugars. In Tunisia, despite the genetic diversity observed in carrot germplasm, including landraces and wild relatives, no research has been conducted on the biochemical composition of carrot. Thus, this study aims to analyse carotenoids, soluble sugars, total phenols, total flavonoids and colour properties of 14 carrot landraces, in order to determine the diversity among them and evaluate the relationships among their biochemical contents. The main carotenoids identified were a-carotene, B-carotene and lutein. Orange carrots were richer in B-carotene and a-carotene than yellow carrots. The major sugars were sucrose, glucose, fructose and galactose. Significant differences were observed among the Tunisian carrot landraces with respect to their biochemical composition and colour characteristics. Total carotenoids and total sugars ranged from 155.74 to 511.44 ug/g of dw and from 368.77 to 546.79 mg/g of dw, respectively. Total phenols and total flavonoids varied from 24.13 to 41.39 mg GAE/100 g of dw and from 16.51 to 24.85 ug CE/100 g of dw, respectively. Significant, positive and negative correlations were found among the measured parameters. A principal component analysis (PCA) and agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) were performed to classify the Tunisian carrot landraces on the basis of colour properties and biochemical compounds. The PCA divided the landraces into four main groups and AHC classified them into two major clusters. The Tunisian carrot landraces were found to be rich in bioactive compounds; they could be good candidates for future breeding programs.

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