Bioavailability of β-cryptoxanthin is greater from pasteurized orange juice than from fresh oranges – a randomized cross-over study




Orange fruits and products thereof represent important dietary sources of carotenoids, particularly β-cryptoxanthin. Since previous studies reported a positive effect of vegetable processing on carotenoid absorption, our objective was to compare the bioavailability of β-cryptoxanthin from either fresh navel oranges (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) or pasteurized orange juice.

Methods and results

The study was designed as a randomized 2-way cross-over study. Twelve volunteers consumed two meals delivering 744 μg of β-cryptoxanthin from either fresh navel oranges or pasteurized orange juice. Eight blood samples were collected over 9.5 h after test meal consumption and analyzed using HPLC-DAD. Additionally, carotenoid bioaccessibility was assessed after in vitro digestion of the same test foods. β-cryptoxanthin bioavailability from pasteurized orange juice was 1.8-fold higher than from fresh oranges (P = 0.011). Similarly, mean absorption of the non-dose adjusted carotenoids lutein (P = 0.301), zeaxanthin (P = 0.216), and zeinoxanthin (P = 0.090) were slightly higher from orange juice, although not reaching statistical significance. The in vitro digestion revealed a 5.3-fold higher bioaccessibility of β-cryptoxanthin from orange juice. Dietary fiber contents in the test foods were inversely associated with carotenoid bioavailability.


Orange juice represents a more bioavailable source of β-cryptoxanthin than fresh oranges.