‘Ecological’ tomatoes have more antioxidants than the traditional crop



According to an article published in the ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’.

A research by the University of Barcelona reveals tomatoes from a cultivation where nitrogen fertilizers are not used have a higher level of phenolic compounds that in a traditional cultivation.

The group of investigation in natural antioxidants of the University of Barcelona (UB), directed by Rosa M. Lamela, highlights that during in-process of ketchups and juices, the level of polyphenols (natural fertilisers of vegetal origins) go down. Therefore “it is important to know if the origin of the differences comes from the tomato and not produced by the technology used in the process”, Lamuela explains.

“The advantage to polyphenols in natural foods is that the food contains a variety of these molecules and among them to enhance,” explains the researcher who added that this would be more beneficial to health than the administration of isolated in supplement form phenolic compounds. As the tomatoes also have lycopene (pigment plant that provides the color red) and others carotenes and vitamin C, “are as a package of compounds beneficial”, says Lamuela.

The differences observed between the organic tomatoes and conventional are due to the fertilizer used. “In the ecological agriculture nitrogen fertilizers are not added, what implies that plants have to create their own mechanisms of defence and, increase all the antioxidant”, emphasizes Anna Vallverdú Queralt, first signatory of the article e research of the UB.

“The plant, the more stress, the more polyphenols generates”, indicates Lamuela. Numerous scientific researches indicate that consumption of these antioxidants is healthy, but we need more studies of clinical evidence to say that organic products are actually better than conventional. The great challenge now for Lamuela would be to conduct a study in humans, comparing consumers of organic tomatoes with consumers of conventional tomatoes.


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