Carotenoids in Organic Baby Foods

Abstract: Although organic baby foods are assumed to be more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, research data in this area are limited and equivocal. The objectives of the present study were first, to determine the carotenoid content of organic and non-organic baby foods; and, second, to analyze the bioaccessibility of carotenoids from these products. The baby foods selected for analysis were for the same age group (4+ months) and of two types: chicken and vegetable dinners and berry-based desserts. All foods were subjected to an in vitro digestion procedure which simulates gastrointestinal digestion. Due to their ingredient composition, carotenoid content and bioaccessibility varied within and between the organic and non-organic foods. In general, the non-organic berry-based desserts contained more carotenoids than the organic type. Although the carotenoids had a greater % bioaccessibility from the desserts than the dinners, the chicken and vegetable meals provided significantly higher amounts of carotenoids. Our findings show that carotenoid content reflects the ingredient composition of the baby meals. Therefore, the organic dinners tested were generally not superior to the non-organic foods in terms of carotenoid content and bioaccessibility. © Academic Press Inc.

Reference: Jiwan, M. A., Duane, P. P., O'Sullivan, L. L., O’Brien, N. M., & Aherne, S. A. (2010). Content and bioaccessibility of carotenoids from organic and non-organic baby foods. Journal Of Food Composition & Analysis, 23(4), 346-352. Available online at: