Organic food: +20% antioxidants for onions from organic farming


A study conducted over 6 years, comparing the content of active ingredients in onions from different farming methods, shows that production in organic farming raises the antioxidant content by approximately 20%.

Are plants from organic farming healthier than those from conventional farming? If many are those who affirm it, it must be recognized that the scientific data have so far not made it possible to provide proof of it.

The levels of vitamins and minerals, for example, seem to differ only slightly between the two modes of production. But according to this new Irish study, it could be different for other interesting compounds, such as certain antioxidants.

Onions studied under the magnifying glass for 6 years

Researchers were interested in two varieties of onions rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that is also found in the skin of the apple and tea, and which has been associated with several interesting health effects.

Onions are among the plants with the highest quercetin content. The champion is the red onion, which contains 2 times more than the white onion, and 14 times more than the garlic. This study, which concerns the varieties ‘Hyskin’ and ‘Red Baron’, is the longest carried out in this area. The flavonoid measurements were repeated over a period of 6 years, according to “organic” or conventional agricultural production.

+20% of antioxidants in organic onions

Results show that onions grown in organic farming have higher antioxidant activity (measured by DPPH and FRAP methods) , have more total flavonols and quercetin than conventional onions. These observations apply to both varieties of onions, with differences of up to 20% between organic and conventional. The study also shows that the flavonol content fluctuates depending on weather conditions, and is higher when temperatures are higher and there is less rain.

Ren F. et al., J Agric Food Chem, 2017.

keywords= organic farming, organic, organic onions, antioxidants,

Meta: Organic foods are healthier than conventionally grown foods? The quarrel is still between the two camps. for onions, at least the subject is settled. Organic onions are 20% richer in antioxidant active ingredients than those from intensive agriculture.

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