Mediterranean sofrito home-cooking technique enhances polyphenol content in tomato sauce

J Sci Food Agric. 2019 Nov;99(14):6535-6545. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9934. Epub 2019 Aug 13.


Background: Sofrito, a basic culinary technique widely used in the Mediterranean, may preserve dietary polyphenols and enhance their intake in the Mediterranean population. The aim of this study was to investigate if the sofrito technique improves the polyphenol extractability in a tomato-based sofrito sauce.

Results: A full factorial design was applied using mathematical models. The content of chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid hexoside and naringenin was higher in the sofrito sauce than in raw tomato. The bioaccessibility of some tomato polyphenols was enhanced by the presence of olive oil and they were protected from oxidation during the cooking process by the use of onion.

Conclusion: The use of olive oil and onion in Mediterranean cooking as a base for sauces and dishes, with an appropriate cooking time, preserve the polyphenol content of food. Thus, Mediterranean cuisine may contribute to the health effects of the Mediterranean diet. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: cooking; extra virgin olive oil; matrix effect; onion; phenolic compounds.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cooking / methods*
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry*
  • Olive Oil / chemistry
  • Onions / chemistry
  • Polyphenols / chemistry*


  • Olive Oil
  • Polyphenols