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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Oct 18;54(21):8244-52.

Three-year comparison of the content of antioxidant microconstituents and several quality characteristics in organic and conventionally managed tomatoes and bell peppers.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California-Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Understanding how the environment and production and cultivation practices influence the composition and quality of food crops is fundamental to the production of high-quality nutritious foods. In this 3-year study, total phenolics, percent soluble solids, ascorbic acid, and the flavonoid aglycones quercetin, kaempferol, and luteolin were measured in two varieties of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L. cv. Ropreco and Burbank) and two varieties of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. cv. California Wonder and Excalibur) grown by certified organic and conventional practices in a model system. Significantly higher levels of percent soluble solids (17%), quercetin (30%), kaempferol (17%), and ascorbic acid (26%) were found in Burbank tomatoes (fresh weight basis; FWB), whereas only levels of percent soluble solids (10%) and kaempferol (20%) were significantly higher in organic Ropreco tomatoes (FWB). Year-to-year variability was significant, and high values from 2003 influenced the 3-year average value of quercetin reported for organic Burbank tomatoes. Burbank tomatoes generally had higher levels of quercetin, kaempferol, total phenolics, and ascorbic acid as compared to Ropreco tomatoes. Bell peppers were influenced less by environment and did not display cropping system differences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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