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Mediterranean Sauce Base Is Jam-Packed With Bioactive Micronutrients

November 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A sauce used as a base in Mediterranean, especially Spanish, cooking is rich in bioactive compounds like polyphenols and carotenoids that help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a study conducted in Spain. Researchers at the University of Barcelona identified the healthy antioxidants in sofrito –a blend of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and onion –  using high resolution mass spectrometry. At least 40 polyphenols were found, including vitamin C, lycopene and beta-carotene. The researchers said eating 120 grams of sofrito a day, added to pasta for example, would provide a total intake of 16 to 24 milligrams of polyphenols per portion and 6 to 10 milligrams of carotenoids.
Anna Vallverdú-Queralt et al., "Bioactive compounds present in the Mediterranean sofrito", Food Chemistry, November 15, 2013, © Elsevier Ltd.
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