Why should you add onion to your tomato sauce?

La Vanguardia recently published the article “Why should you put onion in your tomato sauce” in reference to the research carried out by our research group, where it was shown that onion enhances the antioxidant properties of sofrito. Specifically, it improves the isomerization (transformation and absorption) of lycopene, the pigment that gives tomatoes red color and is considered one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, with properties that help prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes , certain carcinogenic processes (mainly at the level of epithelial tissues) and macular degeneration, among other diseases. But also, onion adds its antioxidants, flavonoids, to tomato’s powerful antioxidants when it comes to inactivating free radicals or counteracting pro-oxidant metals such as iron and copper, which improves the amount and bioavailability of compounds healthy in the sofrito.

The study, initially published in the journal Food Research International, concluded that longer cooking times and the presence of onion in sauce are related to higher production of the cis, 5-Z-lycopene, 9-Z-lycopene isomers. and 14-Z-lycopene, which are more bioavailable and more beneficial for their antioxidant capacity.