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Age Before Beauty: Are Ancient Fruits & Vegetables More Nutritious?

Age Before Beauty: Are Ancient Fruits & Vegetables More Nutritious?New findings from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK) and Cranfield University indicate that older varieties of some fruits and vegetables may be more nutritious than their common day counterparts.

The project aims to study pre-domesticated varieties of produce to determine if they are more nutrient dense than today’s equivalents.

Lead researcher and Unilever scientist, Dr. Mark Berry states, “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”.

The consortium found that an older version of an apple – the Egremont Russet – contained more than 10 times the amount of a phytonutrient studied than in some common varieties.

Future research from the consortium will focus on other older varieties and their potential for enhanced nutrition, as well as studies of the effects of potential health deficits imparted by shrinking availability of phytonutrient in modern foods.

To learn more about the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and their body of research, visit

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