A developed Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) calibration equation was used for determining provitamin A carotenoids contents of different trials of fresh yellow root cassava genotypes using a total of 50 cassava genotypes scanned twice by NIRS from 400 nm to 2498 nm. The NIRS calibration equations were used to predict the 2-cryptoxanthin, 13-cis β-carotene, trans β-carotene, 9-cis β-carotene, total β-carotene and total carotenoid concentrations of the samples. The predicted values for total carotenoids (TC-pred) ranged from 3.93 μg g–1 to 10.51 μg g–1 with mean of 7.07 ± 2.55 μg g–1 for International Collaborative Trials (ICT), 7.97–11.03 μg g–1 fresh weight with mean of 9.40 ± 0.76 μg g–1 for yellow root trial 8 (Multi-location Uniform Yield Trial) and 6.38–10.44 μg g–1 with mean of 8.74 ± 1.07 μg g–1 for yellow root trial 9 (Multilocation Advanced Yield Trial). Total carotenoids results using reference spectrophotometric method (TC-spec) ranged from 2.57 μg g–1 to 9.97 μg g–1 with mean of 5.66 ± 2.99 μg g–1 for ICT, 6.55–8.74 μg g–1 with mean of 7.74 ± 0.64 μg g–1 for yellow root trial 8 and 4.22–11.00 μg g–1 with mean of 7.57 ± 1.54 μg g–1 for yellow root trail 9. There is significant (P ≤ 0.001) positive correlation (r = 0.55) between TC-pred by NIRS and TC-spec. Also, significant (P ≤ 0.001) positive correlation (r = 0.52) exist between trans β-carotene predicted by NIRS and high-performance liquid chromatography reference. The developed NIRS calibration equations could be used to predict total carotenoids and trans β-carotene content of yellow root cassava and serve as rapid and cost-effective screening method for large cassava sample sets.
Keywords: Cassava, NIRS, trans β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, 13-cis β-carotene, 9-cis β-carotene