SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news

 

 

Cooking tomatoes boosts health benefits

22-Apr-2002

Tomatoes have long been known to be a good source of lycopene, the phytochemical which makes them red but which also has significant antioxidant properties. Now new research has shown that this antioxidant power can be boosted even more through the simple act of cooking the tomatoes.

Researchers from Cornell University in the US said that cooking the tomatoes increase the level of phytochemicals they contain, although it also reduces the amount of vitamin C found in the vegetable.

Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry Rui Hai Liu, Cornell assistant professor of food science, said: "This research demonstrates that heat processing actually enhanced the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content that can be absorbed by the body, as well as the total antioxidant activity. The research dispels the popular notion that processed fruits and vegetables have lower nutritional value than fresh produce."

Tomato samples were heated to 88 degrees Celsius for two minutes, 15 minutes and 30 minutes. Consistent with previous studies, vitamin C content decreased by 10, 15 and 29 per cent respectively when compared to raw, uncooked tomatoes. However, the research revealed that the beneficial trans-lycopene content of the cooked tomatoes increased by 54, 171 and 164 per cent respectively.

Levels of cis -lycopene (which the body easily absorbs) rose by 6, 17 and 35 per cent respectively. Antioxidant levels in the heated tomatoes increased by 28, 34 and 62 per cent, respectively.

While the antioxidant activity in tomatoes is enhanced during the cooking process, vitamin C loss occurs when the food's ascorbic acid is oxidised to dehydroascorbic acid and other forms of nutritionally inactive components. Lycopene is the most-efficient single oxygen quencher, and devours more than 10 times more oxygenated free radicals than vitamin E, Cornell researchers said.

"This makes lycopene's presence in the diet important," said Liu. "While these findings go against the notion that processed fruits and vegetables have lower nutritional value, this may create a new image for processed fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, this could increase consumers' intake of fruits and vegetables and could possibly reduce a person's risk of chronic disease."

A timely piece of research, given the recent by the British Dietetic Association to endorse canned foods from Heinz as contributing towards the healthy eating target of five fruits of vegetables a day.

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Fytexia
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Indena
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Capsugel
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Ingredion
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
NSF-International
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Roquette
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars