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Dietary approaches to the prevention of vitamin A deficiency: Indian experience with red palm oil as a source of vitamin A

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In an effort to continue to reduce vitamin A deficiency in India, studies have been conducted using red palm oil. The bioavailability of β-carotene in red palm oil is higher that than of green and yellow vegetables, with an absorption rate of nearly 90%. Studies have shown that red palm oil is safe and acceptable. Refined red palm oil (Carotino) can be mixed with other refined edible oils without affecting their taste. It does add a yellow color, for which consumer education is needed. Because of stability problems, the final product selected for feeding would need to contain 7% to 10% of the Carotino, depending on the form used. Further studies are being planned to evaluate the effect of Carotino-containing supplements on growth and vitamin A status of children. A major limitation to producing supplementary foods containing red palm oil is the small amount of red palm oil produced in India at this time; most of it has to be imported from Malaysia.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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