Ascorbic acid, β-carotene, total phenolic compound and microbiological quality of organic and conventional citrus and strawberry grown in Egypt
A two year study at Alexandria University compared ascorbic acid, β-carotene, total phenolic compound, nitrite content and microbiological quality of orange and strawberry fruits grown under organic and conventional management techniques to see if producers concerns are valid. Organically grown oranges and strawberries had lower titratable acidity (TA); whereas, there was no significant difference in total soluble solid (TSS) of oranges and strawberries between two production systems. Higher ascorbic acid and β-carotene content was found in organically grown oranges and strawberries, compared to conventionally grown ones. Total phenol content (TPC) was significantly higher in conventional oranges compared to its organic production. Conversely, TPC was significantly higher in organic strawberries than the conventional ones. Comparative analyses of the microbial counts of organic and conventional oranges and strawberries fruit showed that Escherichia coli (E. coli) were not detected in any sample. However, conventional oranges and strawberries fruits have greater counts of yeasts and mold than organic ones. Nitrites were detected in all samples. The nitrites levels from organic production varied between 0.13 and 0.16 mg/kg fresh weight (FW), whereas those from conventional production ranged from 0.20 to 0.25 mg/kg FW. Our results show that the ascorbic acid, β-carotene, TPC, TA, nitrite content and biological quality were dependent on the agricultural production system, while for TSS%, this dependency was not pronounced.
Key words: Ascorbic, β-carotene, organic, orange, strawberry, yeasts and molds.