Fruit composition profile of pepper, tomato and eggplant varieties grown under uniform conditions

Food Res Int. 2021 Sep:147:110531. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2021.110531. Epub 2021 Jun 17.


The study of the diversity within and between major Solanaceae crops (pepper, tomato, eggplant) is of interest for the selection and development of balanced diets. We have measured thirty-six major fruit composition traits, encompassing sugars, organic acids, antioxidants and minerals, in a set of 10 accessions per crop for pepper, tomato and eggplant, grown under the same cultivation conditions. The aim was to evaluate the diversity within species and to provide an accurate comparison of fruit composition among species by reducing to a minimum the environmental effect. Pepper, tomato and eggplant had a clearly distinct composition profile. Pepper showed the highest average content in total sugars and organic acids. Fructose and glucose were the major sugar compounds in the three species, although in pepper and tomato sucrose was present only in trace amounts. Citric acid was the major organic acid in pepper and tomato, while in eggplant it was malic acid. Pepper and eggplant had the highest total antioxidant activity. Vitamin C content was much higher in pepper than in tomato and eggplant, while eggplant accumulated high concentrations of chlorogenic acid. Furthermore, eggplant was the species with higher content in most minerals, particularly for K, Mg and Cu, while pepper was the richest in Fe. Due to their complementary nutritional profiles, a combined regular consumption of the three vegetables would supply more than 20% of the Dietary Reference Intake of several of the analysed phytochemicals. The large diversity within each species is of interest for selecting varieties with better nutritional and organoleptic profiles, as well as for breeding new cultivars.

Keywords: Composition profiles; Dietary Reference Intake; Nutritional quality; Organoleptic quality; Sugar-acid balance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fruit
  • Plant Breeding
  • Solanum lycopersicum*
  • Solanum melongena*
  • Vegetables