Nutrient deficiency still happens in Indonesia. Of these cases, many suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.
VItamin A deficiency will cause eye diseases such as nearsightedness to blindness. Although severe cases of Vitamin A deficiency such as xerophthalmia are rare, but subclinical Vitamin A still happens, especially in toddlers.
“To address the issue, we use carrot that has high contents of Vitamin A to make a supplement to prevent deficiency," said Nindya Kirana Putri at Faculty of Biology UGM on Monday (22/7).
The product which comes in the form of supplement of carrot extract nanoemulsion and VCO was done by her along with fellow students Diah Ayu Puspitasari and Nurlaili Rahmawati under the guidance of Mokhammad Fajar Pradipta, S.Si., M.Eng. This was conducted during the Student Creativity Programme 2019
Diah Ayu Puspitasari explained carrots have beta-carotene that are the most active form of pro-vitamin A. Pro-vitamin A enzymatically can change into vitamin A.
“Beta-carotene has non-polar structures so it dissolves in oil. Here virgin coconut oil (VCO) is used as dissolving agent of beta-carotene as VCO has saturated fatty acid that is digestible and oxidised in the body,” she said.
Dried carrot is macerated in VCO so that the beta-carotene in the dry carrot can dissolve fully. Diah explained they chose nanoemulsion so that the absorption of pro-vitamin A in the body can maximise. Identification of supplement size is done using the microscope and Particle Size Analyzer (PSA), while beta-carotene and mineral contents in the supplement by spectrometer.
“Based on tests, it was concluded that the supplement of carrot extract nanoemulsion and VCO with beta-carotene content is potential as pro-vitamin A agent to prevent Vitamin A deficiency," she said.