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Michael Cavalier, Armen Kachatryan, Evodokia Menelaou, Jack Losso, and Don LaBonte

Fresh leaves of six sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] genotypes, `Beauregard', `Bienville', L 99-35, L 00-8, L 01-145, and L 01-29 were characterized for lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid capable of delaying blindness-related macular degeneration. The content of lutein in sweetpotato ranged from 0.38 to 0.58 mg·g-1 fresh weight. Beta-carotene separated from lutein on HPLC chromatograms, and, when spiked in pure lutein extract, did not interfere with lutein separation. Stems were also characterized and found not to contain lutein. Our results showed that sweetpotato leaves are an excellent source of dietary lutein and surpass levels found in leafy crucifers. Leaves of sweetpotato and a related species are used as human food in some countries and could be a source of extracted lutein for commercial purposes.

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Evdokia Menelaou, Armen Kachatryan, Jack N. Losso, Michael Cavalier, and Don La Bonte

Fresh leaves of 6 sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam.) genotypes, `Beauregard', `Bienville', L99–35, L00–8, L01–145, and L01–29, were characterized for lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid capable of delaying blindness-related macular degeneration. The content of lutein in sweetpotato ranged from 0.38 to 0.58 mg·g–1 fresh weight. Beta-carotene separated from lutein on high-pressure liquid chromatograms and when spiked in pure lutein extract did not interfere with lutein separation. High-resolution electro-spray ionization mass spectrometric analysis was used to confirm the presence of lutein in sweetpotato leaves. Stems were also characterized and found not to contain lutein. Our results showed that sweetpotato leaves are an excellent source of dietary lutein and surpass levels found in leafy crucifers. Leaves of sweetpotato and a related species are human food in some countries and may be a major source of lutein for commercial purposes.