Antioxidant Compounds, Mineral Content and Antioxidant Activity of Several Tomato Cultivars Grown in Southwestern Romania

Ten indeterminate tomato cultivars differing in fruit shape and typology, grown simultaneously in a greenhouse from Oltenia (Southwestern Romania) and harvested at red ripe stage, were investigated for the contents in ascorbic acid, lycopene, carotene, total phenolics, minerals (K, Na, Ca and Mg) and trace elements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Cr, Zn and B). In addition, their antioxidant activities were determined. Significant differences were found among tomato cultivars in all studied antioxidant compounds, as well as in the antioxidant activity. Ascorbic acid ranged from 91.9 to 329.7 mg kg-1 fw, lycopene ranged from 19.7 to 49.0 mg kg-1 fw, while total phenolic compounds varied between 300.2 and 557.8 mg kg-1 fw. Antioxidant activity ranged from 0.81 mmol Trolox kg-1 fw to 1.74 mmol Trolox kg-1 fw and it was significantly correlated to total phenolics content (r = 0.91; p< 0.05). The cocktail type cultivar Tiger and the cherry type cultivar Belle proved to be the most powerful in antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds while the rectangular plum shaped cultivar Porto recorded the highest average lycopene content. A valuable cultivar proved to be the brownish red Sacher which registered among the highest contents of phenolics, lycopene and ascorbic acid. Mineral and trace elements contents were also significantly affected by cultivars. Values recorded for K, Ca and Mg ranged from 2139.6 to 3056.9 mg kg-1, 137.7 to 325.8 mg kg-1 and 27.3 to 168.7 mg kg-1 respectively.

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