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Composition and antioxidant activity of three Spanish tomato varieties of ecological cultivation: Influence of maturation status.
1, 2 , * 3 , 1, 2 , 3 , 4 , * 3
1  Departamento de Bioquímica Médica y Biología Molecular e Inmunología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
2  Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, IBiS/Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío/CSIC/Universidad de Sevilla, 41013 Seville, Spain
3  Área de Nutrición y Bromatología, Departamento de Biología Molecular e Ingeniería Bioquímica, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Ctra. Utrera Km 1, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
4  Departamento de Fitoquímica de los Alimentos, Instituto de la Grasa-CSIC, Campus Universitario Pablo de Olavide, Carretera de Utrera Km 1, E-41013 Sevilla, Spain
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a popular horticultural crop that belongs to the Solanaceae family and is rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, and bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity. Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Spain, and Greece, have a rich variety of tomato landraces. Due to the importance of the nutritional and bioactive composition of tomatoes and their beneficial properties, nutritional analysis of the different tomato varieties, as well as of their maturation status, is an initial and key process that determines its posterior marketing. Thus, in this study, we assayed three different varieties that exist in Spain, the cherry-like tomatoes named "Josefina" and "Karelya", and the salad tomato types "Muchamiel".

In addition to evaluating the characteristics and composition of these varieties, we performed the carotenoids and polyphenols quantification, and their antioxidant activities were assessed in three different moments of their maturation status. Carotenoid content was quantified by HPLC coupled to a UV-visible spectrophotometry detector, while polyphenol content was quantified using the Folin & Ciocalteu′s phenol reagent. Antioxidant activity was performed by several colorimetric assays, such as FRAP, ORAC, ABTS, and DPPH.

The results showed an increase in antioxidant capacity in the advanced maturation status, parallelly to increasing carotenoids and polyphenols content. Moreover, by correlation analysis, this increase in antioxidant activity was possible to associate with the rise of carotenoid contents, concretely in the lycopene content. Interestingly, the cherry-like tomatoes showed higher antioxidant activity in comparison to the salad tomatoes.

This investigation points out how the maturation of this fruit allows an increase of carotenoids, which can be responsible for the antioxidant activity.

Keywords: cherry-like tomato; salad tomato; carotenoids; polyphenols; antioxidants