Determination of beta-carotene, antioxidant activity and iron in beetroot
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Almost half of the cases of anemia are due to iron deficiency (UBOS et al, 2017). One way to address this is by consumption of foods rich in iron for example plants and animal sources. Beetroots have been used locally to beef up blood in anemic patients but there is no scientific evidence concerning the iron levels in this plant. The purpose of this research was to determine the antioxidant capacity, concentration of iron and beta-carotene in beetroot. The antioxidant capacity of beetroot was determined by measuring DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1,1picrylhydrazyl radical) scavenging power by spectrometric method at 520nm. The antioxidant capacity is represented as percentage scavenging activity. Extraction of plant materials was done by both methanol and aqueous extraction methods. Generally, DPPH percentage scavenging activity for methanol was higher than that for aqueous extracts for example; sample A had 87.63% for methanol and 67.01% for aqueous. Cooking of beetroot reduces its percentage scavenging activity. Iron was determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric (AAS) method. Iron content obtained ranged from 1.03±0.006mg/100g to 1.63±0.01mg/100g of beetroot. The maximum iron content was determined in sample C (1.63±0.01mg/100g) and the least in sample A (1.03±0.006mg/100g). The concentration of Beta-carotene was determined by using petroleum ether method. Beta-carotene in Beetroot ranged from 295.5-477.5mg/100g with sample E having the highest and sample B having the lowest concentration. From this study, beetroot is a good source of antioxidants and iron hence can be used as a natural iron supplement.