Assaying total carotenoids in flours of corn and sweet potato flours by laser photoacoustic spectroscopy

S. Luterotti, D.D. Bicanic, K. Kijak, D. Grbesa, E. Martinez, R.B. Spruijt

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This study describes the application of the laser photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) for quantification of total carotenoids (TC) in corn flours and sweetpotato flours. Overall, thirty-three different corn flours and nine sweetpotato flours were investigated. All PAS measurements were performed at room temperature using 488-nm argon laser radiation for excitation and mechanical modulation of 9 and 30 Hz. The measurements were repeated within a run and within several days or months. The UV–Vis spectrophotometry was used as the reference method. The concentration range that allows for the reliable analysis of TC spans a region from 1 to 40 mg kg-1 for corn flours and from 9 to 40 mg kg-1 for sweetpotato flours. In the case of sweetpotato flours, the quantification may extend even to 240 mg kg-1 TC. The estimated detection limit values for TC in corn and sweetpotato flours were 0.1 and 0.3 mg kg-1, respectively. The computed repeatability (n¿=¿3–12) and intermediate precision (n¿=¿6–28) RSD values at 9 and 30 Hz are comparable: 0.1–17.1% and 5.3–14.7% for corn flours as compared with 1.4–9.1% and 4.2–23.0% for sweetpotato flours. Our results show that PAS can be successfully used as a new analytical tool to simply and rapidly screen the flours for their nutritional potential based on the total carotenoid concentration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
JournalFood Biophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • thermal-diffusivity
  • particle-size
  • beta-carotene
  • stability
  • lycopene


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