EXPLORING THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF CARROTS AND DETERMINING ATTRIBUTES THAT ARE FAVORED BY CONSUMERS
Author: Hannah Harling Stefl
Major: Food Science and Human Nutrition
Graduation Year: 2017
Thesis Advisor: Angela D. Myracle
Description of Publication: This study explored 24 varieties of carrots, the most popular vegetable of the Apiaceae family. Carrots are one of the most widely consumed vegetables. They are a cool season vegetable crop, which comes in many different varieties and colors, each having its distinct aroma, content of volatiles and nutritional compounds that influence the harshness or eating quality of the carrot. In the US, 3.5 billion pounds of carrots are grown each year, showing the importance that carrots have in United States agricultural economic systems. Carrots are an important vegetable due to their characteristic flavor and the many health benefits, such as: reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease and improving vision. The taste and health benefits of carrots are related to the levels of phenolic compounds, volatiles, and sugar. Data was collected from 24 carrot varieties at harvest and after a 3-month cold storage to determine effects storage has on the quality and taste of the carrot. During storage, biochemical changes happen to the carrot, decay, respiration and the breakdown of sugars. These post-harvest changes influence the development of volatiles that leads to the formation of harsh bitter flavors. Some carrot varieties are bred to be able to withstand storage conditions. This study found that three carrot varieties: Bolero (C7), Navarino (C8), and Bermuda (C23) fared the best under cold storage conditions. It is important to understand how storage affects the taste profile of carrots; this information will inform farmers on which carrot varieties are the best to grow, store, and sell to consumers.
Location of Publication:
URL to Thesis: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/455