Influence of cooking method on the nutritional quality of organic and conventional brazilian vegetables: A study on sodium, potassium, and carotenoids

Neide Torres de Castro, Ernandes Rodrigues de Alencar, Renata Puppin Zandonadi, Heesup Han, António Raposo, Antonio Ariza-Montes, Luis Araya-Castillo, Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vegetable consumption is associated with increased health benefits, and vegetables are consumed both in cooked form and raw form in salads. All cooking techniques cause changes in a vegetable’s the nutrient content. Consumers are increasingly health-conscious and have less time to prepare meals, and they do not know which cooking times and cooking methods are best suited to preserve the nutrients. This study aimed to determine the best method of cooking vegetables to maintain minerals (potassium and sodium) and carotenoids. The studied vegetables were broccoli (Brassica oleracea, var. Italica), carrots (Daucus carota), and zucchini (Cucurbita moschata). The cooking methods were: boiling, steaming, combined oven, microwave steaming, and microwave cooking. Samples of organic and conventionally grown vegetables were prepared in triplicate. Samples were analyzed to determine the availability of target minerals and carotenoids in the raw food and in each recommended cooking situation according to technical standards. Only the carrot showed a higher concentration in organic cultivation for carotenoids in raw vegetables, with both zucchini and broccoli having higher concentrations when grown by conventional cultivation. The zucchini from organic cultivation presented a reduction of potassium and sodium, almost consistently, in all cooking techniques. Regarding the conventionally cultivated zucchini, potassium remained stable in boiling. Broccoli from organic and conventional cultivation showed similar potassium levels for boiling and traditional steam cooking. Organic carrots showed easier sodium extraction compared with conventional cultivation. Heat treatment, in general, improves the accessibility of carotenoids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1782
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Carotenoids
  • Cooking method
  • Organic
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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