Antioxidant composition in cherry and high-pigment tomato cultivars

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Apr 5;54(7):2606-13. doi: 10.1021/jf052920c.


Fourteen cultivars of cherry tomatoes and four cultivars of high-pigment tomato hybrids were cultivated in southern Italy, and the red-ripe fruits were analyzed for their content in different classes of antioxidants and for their antioxidant activity. Among the different cultivars, significant differences were found between lycopene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C (ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid), and total phenolic and flavonoid contents. LS203 and Corbus appear to be the cultivars with the highest content of lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants among cherry tomatoes, respectively. All cultivars of high-pigment tomato hybrids showed an expected exceptionally high lycopene content. Among them, the highest content of lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants was found in cv. HLY 13. Hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant activities were both significantly influenced by genotype. Such results highlight an existing unexploited variability in tomato germplasm and stress the need to evaluate the biodiversity and to support conventional breeding programs to improve tomato nutritional value.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Lycopene
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Pigments, Biological / analysis*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / genetics
  • Species Specificity
  • alpha-Tocopherol / analysis
  • beta Carotene / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Pigments, Biological
  • beta Carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • alpha-Tocopherol
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Lycopene