Vitamin A deficiency is still one of the major public health problems in least developed countries. Fortification of vegetable oils is a strategy implemented worldwide to prevent this deficiency. For a fortification program to be effective, regular monitoring is necessary to control food quality in the producing units. The reference methods for vitamin A quantification are expensive and time-consuming. A rapid method should be useful for regular assessment of vitamin A in the oil industry. A portable device was compared to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for three plant oils (rapeseed, groundnut, and soya).
The device presented a good linearity from 3 to 30 mg retinol equivalents per kg (mg RE.kg- 1). Its limits of detection and quantification were 3 mg RE.kg- 1 for groundnut and rapeseed oils and 4 mg RE.kg- 1 for soya oil. The intra-assay precision ranged from 1.48 % to 3.98 %, considered satisfactory. Accuracy estimated by the root mean squares error ranged from 3.99 to 5.49 and revealed a lower precision than HPLC (0.4 to 2.25). Although it offers less precision than HPLC, the device estimates quickly the vitamin A content of the tested oils from 3 or 4 to 15 mg RE.kg- 1.