Organic tomatoes contain more vitamin C: Study

Washington: Tomatoes grown in organic farms contain higher concentration of sugars, vitamin C and stress resistance compounds as compared to the conventionally grown fruit, a new study has found.

Maria Raquel Alcantara Miranda and colleagues from the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil compared the weights and biochemical properties of tomatoes from organic and conventional farms.

They found that tomatoes grown on organic farms were approximately 40 per cent smaller than those grown by conventional techniques, and they also accumulated more compounds linked to stress resistance.

According to researchers, organic farming exposes plants to greater stress than conventional farming.

They suggest that this increased stress may be the reason organic tomatoes had higher levels sugars, vitamin C and pigment molecules like lycopene, an anti-oxidant compound - all of which are associated with the biological response to stress.

Based on these observations, the researchers suggest that growing strategies for fruits and vegetables should aim to balance plant stress with efforts to maximise yield and fruit size, rather than trying to eliminate stress to increase yields.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.