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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Biology

Abstract

The amount of antioxidants present in food varies depending on environmental conditions in which produce was grown and how products were processed prior to consumption. It would, therefore, be useful to quantify antioxidant activities in these foods. This study focused on quantitative analysis of antioxidant activities in commercially produced whole tomatoes and processed tomato products. For commercially processed tomatoes, diced tomatoes had total antioxidant activities (TAA) ranging from 1.243 to 2.243 μmol TE/g fresh weight (fw), juice 1.573 to 6.86 μmol TE/g fw, paste 6.3 to 13.248 μmol TE/g fw, sauce 1.62 to 3.168 μmol TE/g fw, and soup 1.073 to 3.773 μmol TE/g fw. In commercial whole tomatoes, cherry tomatoes had TAA ranging from 2.303 to 3.66 μmol TE/g fw, grape tomatoes 2.443 to 2.825 μmol TE/g fw, roma tomatoes 0.535 to 3.033 μmol TE/g fw, and slicer tomatoes 1.448 to 2.788 μmol TE/g fw. Variations and significant differences were observed in different samples of the same type of tomatoes, between different types of tomatoes, in different batches of the same brand and kind of processed tomatoes, and between different types of processed tomatoes. These variations could be attributed to the different locales tomatoes were grown, type of tomatoes used for processed tomato products, or additives such as herbs and spices used for flavoring. Additionally, the effect of light intensity on antioxidant accumulation in tomatoes was investigated by experimentally growing plants in different light intensities. Data indicated statistical differences between tomatoes grown under the same as well as different light intensities, on a fresh weight basis. Tomatoes grown in 100% light had TAA ranging from 1.898 to 3.565 μmol TE/g fw (7.73 to 13.405 μmol TE/g dw), 2.375 to 2.523 μmol TE/g fw (8.558 to 13.223 μmol TE/g dw) in 50% light, and 1.623 to 1.958 μmol TE/g fw (8.068 to 13.073 μmol TE/g dw) in 25% light. While small differences in data proved to be statistically significant, some of these differences may be too small to be of biological consequence. Data from this study, along with currently available data on antioxidants in foods, can provide useful information to consumers interested in purchasing products that are most beneficial to their health and to dietitians when making dietary recommendations to patients

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