How nutritious is your fruit and veg?

Traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables might contain more nutrients.
Traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables might contain more nutrients. Photo: ITV Anglia

Researchers from Bedfordshire say traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables might contain more nutrients than their modern counterparts.

Scientists from Cranfield University are working alongside experts from the Royal Botanic Gardens and Kew to find out if older varieties of some of our kitchen staples are better for us than others.

Over the next three years the researchers who have been assembled by consumer goods firm Unilever, will be looking at different types of:

  • Apples
  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Mango
  • Tea

It follows research by Unilever which found that the old Egremont Russet apples can contain 10 times more phytonutrient than some more modern varieties, making them richer in nutrients and fibre.

Researchers say these findings could change how we consume fruit and vegetables in the future.

"The plants we eat today like fruits and vegetables have often been bred and selected on their weight-based yield per acre of land and not necessarily on the nutrient content of the produce.

"This research looks to turn this approach on its head. Perhaps a better strategy for human health, not to mention sustainable agriculture, would be to buy plants not based on their weight but on their nutrient content.”

– Dr Mark Berry