Stability of Carotenoids in Dried Apricots (Prunus Armeniaca L.) During Storage

Elena Andreea POP, Andrea BUNEA, Florina COPACIU, Carmen SOCACIU, Adela PINTEA


Apricots are well known for the high content of bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Several studies have pointed out the chemical composition or the biological effects of apricots, but limited information are available regarding the stability of active compounds during storage or processing. The aim of this study was to determine the stability of major carotenoids in commercial dried apricots during storage.
Carotenoids were extracted monthly from dried apricots kept in a dark environment, at room temperature, for twelve months. Total carotenoids were determined using the spectrophotometric method while the most relevant carotenoids were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection (HPLC-PDA) on a C30 column and using a gradient elution system.
Initial carotenoid content of dried fruits was 6.72 mg/100g, while after six months of storage it decreased to 2.46 mg/100g. After twelve months of storage the total carotenoid content was 0.82 mg/100g, representing 20.35 % of the initial concentration. The major carotenoids identified in apricots were: all trans β-carotene, its geometrical isomers (9-cis-β-carotene; 13-cis-β-carotene; 9,13-di-cis β-carotene); β-carotene-5,8-epoxide; β-cryptoxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin palmitate. Significant decreases were observed for all pigments but all trans β-carotene appears to be the most sensitive pigment, with 15.7 % residual concentration. Although the concentrations of β-cryptoxanthin palmitate is small, it has shown significant increased stability compared to carotenes.


apricots, carotenoids, HPLC, stability

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