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A provitamin is a substance that may be converted within the body to a vitamin. "Provitamin A" is a name for β-carotene, which has only about 1/6 the biological activity of retinol (vitamin A); the body uses an enzyme to convert β-carotene to retinol. In other contexts, both β-carotene and retinol are simply considered to be different forms of vitamin A.

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight, especially in low light. It also has a role in healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding. To ensure the 8 Orange Flesh Sweet Potatoes (CRI-Boyhe, Bourgaurd, Kandee, Tiebelle, Sumaia, Caromex, CRI-Apomuden and TB 144) being tested by NARI are bio-fortified with provitan A, the Aflatoxin and food chemistry Directorate was tasked to conduct an analysis of pro-vitamin A.

Lead Scientist: Mr Muhammad Taylor


Full details of this research activity will be in our comprehensive combined annual research activities publication. stay tuned.