MADRID, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Scientists in Spain recommend eating gazpacho — a soup containing vegetables eaten cold — as soon as it is prepared to retain more vitamin C.
Study co-author Elena Maria Rodriguez and colleagues at the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of La Laguna examined gazpacho and compared the levels of vitamin C — ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acid — in each of the ingredients separately before preparation and in the resulting gazpacho.
Although there many recipes, gazpacho generally contains bread, olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and garlic, the researchers say.
“We found that the gazpacho showed a lower ascorbic/dehydroascorbic acid ratio than the vegetables used to prepare it,” Rodriguez says in a statement. “This suggests that some of the vegetables’ antioxidant capacity is lost.”
The study, published in the Journal of Food, finds peppers had the highest vitamin C content, followed by tomatoes and then the gazpacho itself. In general, tomatoes and garlic contained the highest levels of organic acids — citric, oxalic, fumaric, malic and glutamic — and cucumbers the lowest. Garlic and onions had the highest concentrations of the main organic acids of present, glutamic and citric, than the other vegetables, the study says.
The study authors recommend eating gazpacho as soon as it has been prepared, or “preserving it correctly so that the vegetables maintain their antioxidant characteristics.”