Organic agriculture together with sustainable management systems are growing in the world due to concerns about the environment and the health of the populace: being real and exhaustively documented the damages caused by pesticides. The aim of this work was to observe the possible differences in the concentrations of free radical scavengers and substances recently classified as functional, in different beet parts cultivated following organic and conventional procedures. Regarding the total antioxidant activity (AA%), significant differences were not observed between the two cultivation procedures, being found a high AA% in every beet part analyzed. Organic plants concentrated higher vitamin C content (6.7 - 16.6 mg/100 g) with respect to the conventional ones (4.1 - 9.1 mg/100 g); higher flavonoid content (0.5 - 5.2 mg rutin/ g) and, when cooked, the pulp of organic beet maintained a higher polyamine content and higher amount of total carotenoids. No significant differences were observed for total phenolic compounds.
Key words: Vitamin C, pesticides, putrescine, spermidine, spermine, index of antioxidant activity.
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