Eggplants earn new respect for high antioxidant levels
January 26, 2004,
just-food.org: Brace yourself for a slew of summer
salads featuring the latest dietary wonder-kid—the
eggplant. Scientists at the US Agricultural Research Service
found that chlorogenic acid, one of the most powerful
antioxidants produced in plant tissues, was the predominant
phenolic compound in nearly all the eggplant samples analyzed.
Plants produce antioxidant compounds to protect themselves
against stress and infection. In humans these compounds
serve to deactivate certain particles called free radicals
and show promise of preventing cancer, heart disease,
The scientists studied seven eggplant varieties grown
commercially in the United States, and a collection of
exotic and wild eggplants (called aubergine in Europe)
from other countries. Researchers want to identify valuable
traits to introduce into popular commercial varieties
Editor’s Note: Variations on the traditional
oblong, dark purple “black Beauty” eggplant
have proliferated with the rise of farmers’ markets
and CSA. Bi-color lavender and white, round orange, tiny
white, long green and slender black varieties are giving
the long-ignored eggplant new popularity.
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