Nutritional value of commercial and traditional lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and wild relatives: Vitamin C and anthocyanin content.
Food Chem. 2021 Apr 20 ;359:129864. Epub 2021 Apr 20. PMID: 33962194
Lettuce is the most consumed leafy vegetable though the most popular varieties have a low nutritional value. Our objective was to accurately quantify vitamin C and anthocyanins in wild relatives, and commercial and traditional varieties. Wild species and traditional varieties contained more total ascorbic acid (TAA) than commercial varieties (21% and 8%, respectively). In contrast, commercial varieties had significantly higher content of anthocyanins than traditional varieties and wild species (6 and 8 times more, respectively). TAA was significantly higher in green than in red lettuces (18%). TAA was also significantly higher in the leaves of two wild species than in stems. Cyanidin 3-O-(6'-O-malonylglucoside) was the most abundant anthocyanin (97%), present in most samples. The rankings of accessions by vitamin C and anthocyanin contents can be useful for consumers worried about the impacts of food on their wellbeing and for breeders aiming to improve lettuce by biofortification with health-promoting compounds.