Health Tips: Organic Tomatoes Deliver More Antioxidant Power

A study conducted at the University of Barcelona (UB) shows that organic tomatoes contain higher levels of phenolic compounds than conventional tomatoes. 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 their consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, and some forms of cancer. With this method, the research group of the UB could identify 34 different phenolic compounds in tomatoes. According to Lamuela, “the benefit of taking polyphenols through foods is that they contain a wide variety of such molecules, which are increased.”