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Characterization and Quantification of Phenolic Compounds in Four Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) Farmers’ Varieties in Northeastern Portugal Homegardens


Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) is one of the most widely consumed fresh and processed vegetables in the world, and contains bioactive key components. Phenolic compounds are one of those components and, according to the present study, farmers’ varieties of tomato cultivated in homegardens from the northeastern Portuguese region are a source of phenolic compounds, mainly phenolic acid derivatives. Using HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS, it was concluded that a cis p-coumaric acid derivative was the most abundant compound in yellow (Amarelo) and round (Batateiro) tomato varieties, while 4-O-caffeolyquinic acid was the most abundant in long (Comprido) and heart (Coração) varieties. The most abundant flavonoid was quercetin pentosylrutinoside in the four tomato varieties. Yellow tomato presented the highest levels of phenolic compounds (54.23 μg/g fw), including phenolic acids (43.30 μg/g fw) and flavonoids (10.93 μg/g fw). The phenolic compounds profile obtained for the studied varieties is different from other tomato varieties available in different countries, which is certainly related to genetic features, cultivation conditions, and handling and storage methods associated to each sample.

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Fig. 1



Diode array detector


Electron spray ionization


High-performance liquid chromatography


Mass spectrometry


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L. Barros thanks to FCT, POPH-QREN and FSE for her grant (SFRH/BPD/4609/2008). M. Dueñas thanks to the Programa Ramón y Cajal for a contract. The GIP-USAL is financially supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación through the Consolider-Ingenio 2010 Programme (FUN-C-FOOD, CSD2007-00063), and Junta de Castilla y León (Grupo de Investigación de Excelencia, GR133).

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Correspondence to Celestino Santos Buelga or Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira.

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Lillian Barros and Montserrat Dueñas contributed equally.

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Barros, L., Dueñas, M., Pinela, J. et al. Characterization and Quantification of Phenolic Compounds in Four Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) Farmers’ Varieties in Northeastern Portugal Homegardens. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 67, 229–234 (2012).

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