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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 23;50(22):6550-6.

Nutritional value of cherry tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Cv. Naomi F1) harvested at different ripening stages.

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Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Roma, Italy.


The average content of some classes of antioxidants is generally higher in cherry tomatoes than in normal-sized berries. The aim of this work was to assess the nutritional value of cherry tomato (cv. Naomi F1) by investigating the compositional pattern of berries harvested at different ripening stages and evaluating, in particular, all of the main antioxidants (carotenoids, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, and alpha-tocopherol) and the antioxidant activity of the water-soluble and water-insoluble fractions. Results confirmed the relatively high level of carotenoids in cherry tomato but showed that not all biologically active compounds necessarily increase in tomatoes picked at later stages of ripeness. Cherry tomatoes harvested at full ripeness exhibited the highest level of carotenoids and antioxidant activity in the water-insoluble fraction. On the other hand, no significant differences in ascorbic acid content were observed at different ripening stages, whereas the main phenolics content and the antioxidant activity of water-soluble fraction showed slight, but significant, decreases at later stages of ripeness.

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