Processing some foods enhances their nutritional benefits
By the Editors of Environmental Nutrition, Environmental Nutrition Newsletter Premium Health News Service
January 8, 2014
“Fresh is best” has long been the mantra when it comes to choosing the healthiest foods. But recent studies are challenging that age-old mindset with some very revealing findings. It turns out that processing actually can boost the nutritional benefits of some foods.
The case of tomatoes
Canned tomatoes were one of the first food products to highlight this phenomenon, with a study dating back to 2002 in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. The study showed that thermal (heat) processing, involved in canning tomatoes, elevated total antioxidant activity and lycopene content, enhancing the overall nutritional value, even though vitamin C was lost.