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Ann Nutr Metab. 2003;47(2):64-9.

Polyphenol pattern and antioxidant activity of different tomato lines and cultivars.

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Istituto Tecnologie Biomediche - CNR, Segrate/Milan, Italy.



Besides antioxidant vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids and related phenolics. The biological activities of these polyphenols have become well known in recent years evidencing their beneficial effects on human health. In this context, the characterization of the flavonoids present in tomatoes is of great interest. Thus the polyphenol pattern (including flavonols, flavanones and cinnamate derivatives), lycopene and beta-carotene concentrations and the total antioxidant activity (TAA) of the phenolic fraction from different tomato lines and cultivars have been determined.


The characterization was obtained by means of spectrophotometry and HPLC analyses.


Mean values for single flavonoids were 0.68 +/- 0.16 for naringenin, 0.74 +/- 0.12 for rutin and 0.32 +/- 0.06 for a rutin-pentoside. Mean total polyphenol content was 13.15 +/- 1.15 mg/100 g and mean TAA value was 1.3 +/- 0.10 mmol/g. The obtained TAA values resulted in good accordance with the total polyphenol content (R(2) = 0.7928). The main phenolic acids were chlorogenic (mean +/- SE 0.20 +/- 0.03) and caffeic acid (mean +/- SE 0.03 +/- 0.01). Mean levels of lycopene and beta-carotene were 5.38 +/- 0.90 and 1.18 +/- 0.40 mg/100 g, respectively.


Almost all the lines characterised by low carotenoid content produce high levels of polyphenols, and consequently have the most powerful antioxidant potential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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