Peaches are the latest in a long line of fruits and vegetables to go under the microscope. Researchers from the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, led by David Byrne, PhD, have turned their attention to the juicy, fuzzy-skinned fruit with the aim of boosting its nutritional potential. Previous studies have revealed a high antioxidant level in peaches but Byrne and his team are keen to see if the peach can be further enhanced.
"The trend is to develop varieties that have more health benefits, because the public is becoming more health conscious and making decisions based on that," Byrne said. "The first step is to understand what the phytochemicals do, to make sure they are doing something useful so that we can increase the levels effectively."
Other recent improvements in the field include boosting the anticarcinogenic chemical potential of broccoli and increasing lycopene levels in tomatoes.
Tests conducted by Byrne and his colleagues showed that peaches have some antimicrobial activity, potential for use as a natural food colourant and good-to-excellent tumour growth-inhibition activity.