Determination and distribution of 6-methoxymellein in fresh and processed carrot puree by a rapid spectrophotometric assay.
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Isocoumarin or 6-methoxymellein (6-MM) was extracted from carrot tissue using alkali saponification to solubilize the lactone portion of its structure into an aqueous phase. Acidification and subsequent organic solvent extraction allowed isolates to be quantified and verified as 6-MM by spectrophotometric determination. 6-Methoxymellein was analyzed in carrot cross sections, as a function of depth and before and after thermal processing. A natural propensity for 6-MM accumulation was observed in root tip sections exposed to ethylene, and levels increased as a result of wounding. Consecutive layer peeling demonstrated that small-diameter roots accumulated greater amounts of 6-MM in periderm tissue compared to large roots. Processing carrots into a puree resulted in 10-25% greater extraction of 6-MM than grinding fresh carrot samples, whereas steam-cooked and thermally processed purees had 15% greater extraction than unheated purees. This analytical technique will allow carrot processors to accurately estimate raw and processed products for the bitter compound 6-MM.
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Talcott, S. T., & Howard, L. R.
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