Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tamarillo - no one really knows its nutritional value

After my bike ride this morning I wondered around the garden cooling down and eating the fruit that I could find. Not to much is season, but found some cape gooseberries, passionfruit and tamarillos. After eating the tamarillos I wondered what the nutritional value of them would be (we have the orange variety as its heaps nicer, ie less acidic, than the red). Well it turns out that there is only a very small handful of papers that have researched tamarillos. And the information isn't any surprise. They have antioxidants. To be technical there are:
  • The golden orange variety has 125 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g fresh weight and has less antioxidants than the red variety.
  • Tamarillo showed 3 anthocyanins and 17 carotenoids which are at 8.5 and 4.4 mg/100 g respectively. The most common anthocyanin was delphinidin 3-rutinoside and beta-cryptoxanthin was the most common carotenoid. 
 The red tamarillo also has the following anthocyanins (using older chemical notation as it was a 1974 paper):
  • pelargonidin-3-rutinoside, 
  • pelargonidin-3-glucoside, 
  • cyanidin-3-rutinoside, 
  • cyanidin-3-glucoside, 
  • delphinidin-3-rutinoside 
  • delphinidin-3-glucoside.
With The intense purple-coloured jelly surrounding the seeds contained the greatest concentration of anthocyanins. Flavones, flavonols and leucoanthocyanins were also present in this material. The yellow-coloured flesh contained flavones and low concentration of anthocyanins.

So what does all this mean. Not much really. These compounds haven't been extensively studied. So once again we have a fruit that might be hugely beneficial yet we don't really know.

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