Nutritional Value of Organic Versus Conventional Fruit and Vegetables

Levels of macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients (e.g., flavonols and anthocyanidins, carotenoids) vary, within a relatively wide range, according to the plant species and plant organ (stem, leaf, fruit). Phytonutrients have been suggested to have potential for health promotion and disease prevention [12, 13]. External (genotype-independent) and internal (genotype-dependent) factors affect the levels of nutrients important for human health. Synthesis of plant nutrients is also affected by the conditions of stress of the plant [13].

Comparison of Organically Grown and Conventionally Grown Products

Organically grown products tend to have a higher content of dry matter and secondary plant metabolites than conventionally grown products [14]. Some recent works have compared the nutritional quality of organic and conventional foods [15-20]. The topic has been recently reviewed by Hunter et al.

[15] and Crinnion [16]. The content of micronutrients was more frequently reported to be higher for organic vegetables and legumes compared to their conventional counterparts. Some findings about the content of phytonutrients in organic and conventional products are summarized here for common fruits and vegetables.

 
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