Do Organic Tomatoes Have More Flavour?

Do Organic Tomatoes Have More Flavour?

Do organic tomatoes have more flavour?

Check out this answer from Consensus:

The current body of research suggests that the flavor of tomatoes is not significantly influenced by whether they are grown organically or conventionally. While some studies have found certain nutritional advantages in organic tomatoes, these do not necessarily translate to a more favorable flavor profile. Consumer preferences are varied, and factors such as ripeness, sweetness, and sourness play a significant role in the perception of tomato flavor. It appears that environmental factors, cultivation practices, and tomato varieties may have a more pronounced impact on flavor than the organic versus conventional dichotomy.

 

The debate over whether organic tomatoes are more flavorful than conventional ones has been ongoing among consumers and researchers alike. This article delves into the sensory analysis and nutritional content of tomatoes grown under organic and conventional agricultural practices to shed light on this topic.

Sensory Analysis and Consumer Preferences

A study conducted on various vegetables, including tomatoes, found no significant difference in consumer liking or perceived sensory quality between organic and conventionally grown produce. Interestingly, conventional tomatoes were rated as having a stronger flavor than their organic counterparts, although overall liking was the same for both groups. Another study echoed these findings, with a consumer panel preferring the taste of conventional tomatoes, which were described as sweeter and less sour. However, some panelists in a different study perceived organic tomatoes to be softer and preferred them for their taste, flavor, texture, and juiciness.

Nutritional Content and Antioxidant Properties

When it comes to nutritional content, organic tomatoes have been shown to have higher levels of vitamin C, carotenoids, and polyphenols, except for chlorogenic acid, when expressed as fresh matter. However, no significant difference was observed in the plasma levels of antioxidants in humans after consuming purees made from these tomatoes. A review comparing major nutrients and minerals found no objective evidence that organic tomatoes are nutritionally superior to conventional ones, with results for both falling within similar ranges.

Qualitative Differences in Production Systems

Research on processing tomatoes grown under commercial organic and conventional systems revealed that organically produced tomatoes could have higher soluble solids, titratable acidity, and consistency, which are desirable attributes for tomato paste production. Another study found that the growing system had only a minor effect on the chemical composition and sensory quality of tomatoes.

 

Do organic tomatoes have more flavour?

Roberto Lo Scalzo has answered Unlikely

An expert from Research Council in Agriculture of Italy in Biochemistry, Food Science, Agricultural Science, Organic Food

There are few scientific studies dedicated to this aspect of food quality, regarding the potential better taste of organic products, owing to its intrinsic difficulties.

Our recent work, published on 2019 in Food Chemistry, deeply investigated the presence of taste compounds by chemical and sensory methods in Italian varieties of tomato grown in Central Italy. We compared the type of drying, the type of growing (conventionally grown vs two types of organic grown tomato) and two different years of sampling. The most relevant difference regarded the difference in sampling years, enforcing the impact of climate in agriculture crops. The only clear differences between organic tomatoes and conventionally grown tomatoes were the acidity and the sugar content, which were slightly higher in organic samples, and some volatiles (aldehydes), higher in conventional samples.

Previous studies, such as Talavera-Bianchi et al 2010 specifically focused on palatability of organic products vs conventional ones, but did not definitively establish a superiority in taste for organic vs conventional food products. Fillion and Arazi in 2002, clearly stated “the global claim that organic food tastes better is not valid”, confirming previous data.

 

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