Researchers increase antioxidants in carrots by 2,000%

Researcher agronomist from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) have managed to multiply the healthy compounds of carrots, increasing their antioxidants by 2,000%, according to a Doctoral thesis by Anna Carolina Formica de Oliveira, who is dedicated to the optimization of sustainable post harvest treatments that don’t create waste and consume less energy to produce functional beverages.

For example, “a carrot-based smoothie fortified with vitamin B12 is an alternative to dietary supplements for vegetarians or vegans,” says Francisco Artes Hernandez, director of the thesis together with Gines Benito Martinez Hernandez.

This thesis “provides optimal technology conditions to launch very healthy natural drinks based on fresh produce, consistently improving what is done nowadays,” stated Artes Hernandez.

“This work gives the food and pharmaceutical industries a formula to increase the content of the vegetables’ healthy compounds and to revalue agricultural products,” said Martinez Hernandez. “It also gives producers and marketers access to technological innovations for industrial application.”

In addition to carrots, the doctor has tested treatments to increase the healthy compounds of broccoli byproducts, such as leaves and stems, which account for 80% of the plant and can be used by the food or pharmaceutical industry.

The research, which was developed in the post harvest and Refrigeration Group (GPR) of the Department of Food Engineering and in the Food Quality and Health Unit of the IBV of the UPCT, has resulted in numerous publications in high impact scientific journals.

The work was partially funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the State Program for Research, Development and Innovation to face the Challenges of Society. AGL2013-48830-C2-1-R. Titled ‘Innovations in minimal processing of new refrigerated fresh vegetables smoothies optimizing their healthiness during their commercial life’.

Source: Europa Press

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