Organic tomatoes rule
Another reason to get your organic vegetable patch underway – research shows organic tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventional tomatoes.
A study conducted at the University of Barcelona (UB) shows that organic tomatoes contain higher levels of phenolic compounds – organic molecules with proven human health benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease and some cancers - than conventional tomatoes. The UB’s Natural Antioxidant Group, headed by lecturer Rosa M. Lamuela, had previously proved that organic tomato juice and ketchup contain higher polyphenol content than juice and ketchup made from conventionally grown tomatoes; this study set out to show that the result could be verified with the raw material of the tomatoes themselves.
Kick conventional crops?
Differences between organic and conventional tomatoes can be explained by the manure used in both cases. “Organic farming doesn’t use nitrogenous fertilisers; as a result, plants respond by activating their own defence mechanisms, increasing the levels of all antioxidants,” explains the first author of the article, Anna Vallverdú Queralt. “In other words, the more stress plants suffer, the more polyphenols they produce,” points out Lamuela.