June 9, 2004, www.foodproductiondaily.com:
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
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