June 9, 2004,
An investigation into prepacked fruit and vegetables
stocked in UK supermarkets found that many had vitamin
C levels far below normal for unprepared produce.
The report, published by the UK-based Consumer’s
Association in May 31 issue of Which?, notes that British
fruit and vegetable supply comes principally from supermarkets
who often place more emphasis on looks than taste.
Asda sliced runner beans, for example, contained just
11 percent of the textbook level of vitamin C, and Marks
& Spencer's fresh mango contained just 42 percent.
Malcolm Coles, editor of Which?, said: “Supermarkets
should give shoppers more information about where their
food comes from, how it's been prepared and how nutritious
it is.” The report offers further evidence that
the British public may not be getting adequate vitamin
intake through their daily diets. It claims that nutrition
is not a priority for many supermarkets, pointing to
research that found vitamin C levels in some pre-sliced
and packaged supermarket fruit and vegetables were far
below normal levels for unprepared produce.
The UK's food authority says that adults need 40mg
of vitamin C daily although some research suggests that
higher amounts can offer important protection against
disease such as cancers.
But vitamin levels in fresh fruit decrease after they
are picked, and particularly after they have been cut
and exposed to air or sunlight. Much of the peeling
and chopping of ready-prepared produce is now done abroad
and the food then undergoes a long journey before reaching
British supermarket shelves.
Original story at http://foodproductiondaily.com/news/ng.asp?id=52669&n=dh161&ec=udzflpstxiinvbc