The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most widely consumed vegetables and is a component of the so-called "Mediterranean diet." It represents a significant source of antioxidants in the human diet, with an important biological function (lycopene and β-carotene), as well as other components with antioxidant properties. Antioxidant contents differ according to the variety of tomato, and environmental and agronomic conditions of growth. The aim is to optimize an high-performance liquid chromatography method for the determination of bioactive compounds and to use different antioxidant tests to determine free-radical scavenging activity.The analytical parameters, recovery assays higher than 97 %, satisfactory precision with Relative standard deviation values below 8 %, good linearity (r > 0.999), good sensitivity, and appropriate limits of detection and quantification show that the technique used is satisfactory for measuring these compounds. The tomato samples examined contain highly bioactive components and have high antioxidant capacity with high correlation between phenolic compound contents and antioxidant activity. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
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