Essay: Fruit and vegetables for health

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  • Subject area(s): Health essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: November 15, 2015
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2
  • Fruit and vegetables for health
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Health and comfortable living have greatly affected the progress of science technology. In the same vein, the development in science has also resulted in the rapid growth of technology. These developments, over time, have heightened consumers’ preference patterns for a healthy and comfortable life. Consumer awareness, relative to food and health has led to a demand in foods containing high nutritional quality. However, information on the review of induction treatment of quality of food is very limited, particularly, the importance of antioxidants profile which occasions optimal health is not yet explained empirically. The importance of studying and identifying changes in the antioxidant profile of food can also increase the understanding of the processes involved in a biological system and facilitate post-harvest handling of plants.
Recently, fruits and vegetables are often used as focus of research because they are leading supplier of antioxidant compounds and vitamins to humans. Tomato is the second most consumed vegetable in the world, after potato and before onions as well as under (FAOSTAT, http://faostat3.fao.org/home/index.html), and probably the most preferred garden crop. In addition, tomato consumed in different ways, counting sold fresh, and also processed as paste, soup, juice, sauce, powder, concentrate or whole (Bergougnoux 2014).
Fruit ripening is a highly regulated and irreversible phenomenon involving a series of physiological, biochemical, and structural changes in fruit, leading to an attractive, edible, and ripe fruit (Singh et al., 2012). Climacteric fruits such as tomato, apple or pears, are characterized by a ripening-related increase in respiration and elevated ethylene synthesis to rapidly coordinate and synchronize ripening. In contrast, non-climacteric fruits such as strawberries, grapes or citrus, lack the respiratory peak related with ripening. The reason for a respiratory climacteric is still poorly understood as non-climacteric fruit manage ripening in the absence of this change in physiology. Similar biochemical events often take place during ripening in both climacteric and non-climacteric fruits, including color change, altered starch/sugar metabolism, fruit softening, textural modification, synthesis of aroma volatiles and increased susceptibility to pathogens. In addition, common genes regulating ripening in both types of fruits often show altered expression, supporting the hypothesis that ethylene-dependent and ethylene-independent gene regulation pathways coordinate fruit maturation processes, with primary regulators possibly conserved through evolution (Lelievre et al., 1997; Giovannoni 2007). For delayed ripening, main focus has been on the manipulation of ethylene production, perception and action, employing either sense or antisense technology (Wilkinson et al., 1997; Xiong et al., 2005).
Fruit quality has many aspects, including the obvious properties of flavour, colour, nutritional content and firmness, as well as shelf life, processing qualities and resistance to pre- and post-harvest pathogens.In addition, fruits and vegetables of premium quality are presently greatly appreciated by consumers, because of their high nutritional value and pleasant organoleptic properties. Besides, their content in bioactive compounds (vitamins and antioxidants, among others) are directly related to health benefits (Giampieri, et al., 2012). In another hand, colour quantities have been proposed as possible nondestructive tests to define the ripening times of tomatoes. Firmness loss (‘softening’) and skin colour change are affected by temperature, ripeness stage, atmosphere, storage period and genetic background. These have been accounted as the main factors affecting the shelf-life of whole fruits (Wu and Abbott, 2002; Lana et al., 2005).

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