|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Hi Ryan, The question you have asked is difficult to answer. First, apples do not contain high concentrations of carotenes. As you probably know the green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are highest in carotenes. I have discussed your question with my brother who is an analytical chemist. He has developed a number of methods for analyzing the carotene content of fruits and vegetables. He knows of no simple method for determining the carotene content of plant materials. There are column methods that would concentrate the carotenes in bands. These bands can be eluted from the column and the concentration determined reading the absorbance in a spectrophotometer using a solution of carotenes of known concentration as a a standard. This method does use organic solvents and requires a spectrophotometer which many secondary schools do not have. I know this does not provide you with the specific answer you requested, but I hope it will at least make you aware of the problems one can encounter in measuring the chemical content of food products. Best of luck. Al Bushway Professor of Food Science
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