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Mango contains plenty of vitamin A (http://www.thefruitpages.com/chartmango.shtml). I have some frozen mango which confirms this on the bag. However, a can of mango pulp says that it has 0% of the daily recommended amount. Why is that?

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I thought it might be broken down by the heat, like Vitamin C, but I couldn't find anything about that (and I did find one source saying that it's fairly stable with high heat). –  Brendan Long Jan 30 '11 at 6:25
    
@Brendan: It wouldn't be heat, because the frozen kind is fine and mangoes (and all fruits) are also blanched before being frozen. I suspect, but can't verify, that it's more to do with the fact that this pulp is a by-product of juice processing and all of the Vitamin A has simply been extracted already. –  Aaronut Jan 30 '11 at 16:01
    
@Aaronut: It seems like the way to verify that would be to check if other vitamins also seem to have been extracted away - assuming the other vitamins are also in the juice. –  Jefromi Jan 30 '11 at 16:08
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@Jefromi: It's a little bit more complicated than that; commercial juicing is significantly more involved than juicing an orange or mango at home. There are all sorts of chemical, physical, and even microbial treatments that happen to both the juice and the pulp. The plant may be deliberately extracting a specific vitamin from the pulp to put into the juice. Maybe not - again, this is nothing but speculation - but the presence of other vitamins doesn't necessarily preclude that explanation. –  Aaronut Jan 30 '11 at 16:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The vitamin loss is due primarily to the puree'ing. The viramin A in mangoes comes from beta-carotene, and beta-carotene breaks down easily due to oxidation. On a similar note, I've seen recommendations that carrots (another good source of beta-carotene) not be chopped into small pieces before canning to preserve their vitamin content.

Lots of vitamins are also destroyed by the heat of canning, but beta-carotene is not as susceptible to this problem because it is fat soluble.

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This sounds reasonable. Do you have a reference for the oxidation hypothesis? –  michael Jan 31 '11 at 19:09
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Sure, lots of sites on canning techniques say something similar. Here's something a bit more concrete: "Fat soluble nutrients, including vitamin A, E, and carotenoids including lycopene are sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen. Since these nutrients are fat soluble, little is lost in blanching [precursor to canning]." -- mealtime.org/uploadedFiles/Mealtime/Content/… –  yacomink Jan 31 '11 at 21:46
    
Lets be clear - if you claim something is in there, you need analysis to back up the claim. Testing for Vitamin A requires sophisticated equipment and trained staff. It is cheaper to not make any claim about Vitamin A content, than it is to prove that it is in there - that would put the price up. So they say there is no contribution ... –  James Barrie Jun 24 '11 at 21:33

On this website they say: "We take intensive care to retain the natural characteristics of taste, colour, nutritional value and flavour of the fruits."

So maybe it depends on the brand. Some brands use a more 'rougher' process than others, that could be the reason. I'm not sure though, but check out other brands, maybe some will have vitamin A in it.

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