Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is among the economically most important vegetables in Europe, valued for its bioactive properties due to significant contents of vitamins, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds. In this study, the tomato cultivar Big Beef F1 was grown in the open field (OF) and under polytunnels in central Serbia during 3 years. Polytunnels were covered with two foils (both with 57% reduced photosynthetic active radiation, PAR) differing in UV-A and UV-B transmittance. The aim of our work was to determine the influence of light conditions on accumulation of phytonutrients (carotenoids and phenolics) in the peel and flesh of ripe tomato fruits. The amount of effective antioxidants, caffeic acid, and quercetin (phenolics with ortho-dihydroxy substitution) in the peel was the highest in tomato fruits grown in the OF (maximal PAR and UV-A and UV-B radiation). Moreover, the content of leaf epidermal flavonoids was the highest in the OF. The content of lycopene and β-carotene in the flesh of tomato fruit was higher under the polytunnel with higher UV-transmittance. Our results showed that selection of the right light conditions (quality and intensity) for tomato production has a significant effect on the accumulation of beneficial phenolics and carotenoids.

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