Do Different Varieties Of the Same Fruit or Vegetable Have Different Nutritional Values?

Varieties of fruits and vegetables can differ widely in nutrition.

For example, a New York State McIntosh apple would have about 3 milligrams of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, per 100 grams, while a Cortland would have 11 milligrams, a Jonathan would have 17 and a Cox orange would have 19.

One kind of winter squash, called aiguri, has 1,340 micrograms of carotene, precursor of vitamin A, per 100 grams, while the variety designated 81-565 has 2,625.

The amounts of most nutrients do not depend on the soil a vegetable grows in.

Broccoli has a distinctive way of being broccoli, regardless of soil fertility or cultivation methods.

A given variety assembles the same building blocks of carbon dioxide, water and a few minerals into a characteristic product, whether the source is the soil or fertilizer.

Fertilizer can affect yield, and for some nutritionally important minerals, like zinc and iodine, the levels in the soil may be reflected in the composition of the plant.

However, the proteins, fats, vitamins, etc. in a fruit or vegetable depend on the genetics of the plant variety, the maturity of the plant at harvest and processing and storage.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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