Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Organic Tomatoes Contain Higher Levels of Antioxidants

www.sciencedaily.com - July 2nd, 2012
ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — A study conducted at the University of Barcelona shows that organic tomatoes contain higher levels of phenolic compounds than conventional tomatoes. Phenolic compounds are organic molecules found in many vegetables with proven human health benefits. The UB's Natural Antioxidant Group, headed by lecturer Rosa M. Lamuela, had previously demonstrated that organic tomato juice and ketchup contain higher polyphenol content than juice and ketchup made from conventionally grown tomatoes.

Lamuela points out that during the production process of ketchup and juice, there are lower levels of polyphenols; therefore it was necessary to verify that the differences observed in previous studies had their origin in the tomatoes themselves and not in the technology used during the production process. As lecturer Lamuela states, "it must be verified with raw material."

Polyphenols -- natural antioxidants of plant origin -- are considered to be of great nutritional interest because its consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, and some forms of cancer. The team behind the study has analyzed a variety of tomato called Daniela and has determined its phenolic profile by using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. With this method, the research group of the UB could identify 34 different phenolic compounds in tomatoes. According to Rosa M. Lamuela, "the benefit of taking polyphenols through foods is that they contain a wide variety of such molecules, which are increased." This would be more beneficial to health than the intake of supplements. Tomatoes also contain lycopene and other carotenoids, and vitamin C. Hence, according to Lamuela, "they contain many beneficial compounds."

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