Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Citation: Moehninsi, M., Navarre, D.A., Brown, C.R. 2015. Phytonutrient analysis of Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. berries. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 44:73-79.
Interpretive Summary: The Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN), which infests potatoes, is difficult to control with current methods including fumigation. Solanum sisymbriifolium, also known as the Litchi tomato, could be a useful trap crop for controlling the potato cyst nematode if it had a greater value as a crop. The plant has edible berries, but is little utilized. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Prosser worksite and the University of Idaho characterized the phytonutrient content of berries, including polyphenols, Vitamin C and carotenoids. Results showed Litchi tomatoes contain generous amounts of several important phytonutrients. This enhanced nutritional value of the berries suggests it can have value as a food crop, which could provide additional incentive for growers to plant this crop as an environmentally friendly option to assist in the management of the potato cyst nematode.
Technical Abstract: Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. (Litchi tomato) is grown ornamentally, and in Europe it is used as a trap crop for management of the potato cyst nematode (PCN). Its berries are edible, but little is known about their nutritional content. If more was known about their nutritional value this could provide incentive to grow it as a food crop. Phytonutrient content was characterized in berries from four varieties and four synthetic breeding lines developed to have reduced spininess. Litchi tomatoes contained 6.8–10.4 mg of total phenolics per g dry weight. Antioxidants measured by FRAP ranged from 148 to 242 mmol TE/g DW. HPLC analysis showed chlorogenic acid (1856–4385 mg/g DW) was the most abundant phenylpropa- noid. Ascorbic acid ranged from 2042 to 4511 mg/g DW. The yellow/orange flesh color was due to carotenoids, with b-carotene the most abundant (204–633 mg/g DW). Soluble protein in Litchi tomato ranged from 86.9 to 120.9 mg/g. Of the cultivated Litchi tomato varieties analyzed, SS91 had the highest amount of antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid, chlorogenic acid and b-carotene. These results suggest that Litchi tomato fruits can be a good source of phytonutrients, expanding the plant’s functionality beyond its use as a PCN trap crop.