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New vitamin E found in Kiwi

Friday April 3, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- News has it that the “ugly fruit” (aka, the kiwi) has several beautiful Vitamin E compounds; good news for anti-oxidant seekers everywhere.

A study from Univisita degli Studi di Napoli (led by Antonio Fiorentino in Italy) shows that significant amounts of alpha-tocopherol and delta tocopherol (both previously known forms of vitamin E) were found in both the pulp and peel of the fruit, while a new compound, delta tocomonoenol, was found in the peel only.

While conducting the study, researchers dried the fruit overnight at 45 C, and then extracted the three compounds from the peel and pulp, using an extraction solvent. The free radical “scavenging” capability of the compounds was deemed at 24 percent; clearly, the discovery is significant.

Study Relevance

The addition of the delta tocomonoenol compound increases the concentration of Vitamin E in the kiwi, says independent researcher Dr. Tony McGhie of the New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research. While this is, indeed, good news, there is one caveat: the delta tocomonoenol compound is only found in the peel, which typically isn’t considered an edible part of the fruit. However, this fact notwithstanding, the kiwi is undeniably nutrient dense with regards to Vitamin E.

One can see that a new form of drying the peel and adding it to other antioxidant mixtures, such as green tea, might be forthcoming from some astute entrepreneur. Perhaps soon we will see some celebrity touting the benefits of “kiwi tea” throughout the internet. Move over acacia berry, here comes the kiwi!

(By Rachel Stockton, and edited by Heather Kelley)