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Organic tomatoes, peaches and apples more nutritious

Three new European research projects have just revealed that organic tomatoes, peaches and processed apples all have higher nutritional quality than non-organic, supporting the results of research from America on kiwi fruit reported 26 March 2007.

Researchers found that organic tomatoes “contained more dry matter, total and reducing sugars, vitamin C, B-carotene and flavonoids in comparison to the conventional ones”, while conventional tomatoes in this study were richer in lycopene and organic acids.

Previous research has found organic tomatoes have higher levels of vitamin C, vitamin A and lycopene.

In the latest research, the scientists conclude “organic cherry and standard tomatoes can be recommended as part of a healthy diet including plant products which have shown to be of value in cancer prevention”

A French study has found that organic peaches “have a higher polyphenol content at harvest” and concludes that organic production has “positive effects … on nutritional quality and taste”

In a further study just published, organic apple puree was found to contain “more bio-active substances – total phenols, flavonoids and vitamin C – in comparison to conventional apple preserves” and the researchers conclude “organic apple preserves can be recommended as valuable fruit products, which can contribute to a healthy diet”

New research by Dr Maria Amodio and Dr Adel Kader, from the University of California Davies discovered that organically grown kiwis had significantly higher levels of vitamin C and polyphenols. The researchers said: “All the main mineral constituents were more concentrated in the organic kiwi fruit, which also had higher asorbic acid (vitamin C) and total polyphenol content, resulting in higher antioxidant activity. It is possible that conventional growing practices utilise levels of pesticides that can result in a disruption to phenolic metabolites in the plant that have a protective role in plant defence mechanisms.”
Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association UK, says, “This is a very rigorous study. There is clear evidence that a range of organic foods contain more beneficial nutrients and vitamins and less of things known to have a detrimental health effect such as saturated fats and nitrates.”

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