Health contribution of tomatoes and bell peppers for humans and animals

Tomatoes and bell peppers contain a large number of high-quality plant compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C and E and dietary fibres. That is why the consumption of these ‘fruiting vegetables’ is so important for our health and vitality.

Tomatoes and bell peppers contain a large number of high-quality plant compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C and E and dietary fibres. That is why the consumption of these ‘fruiting vegetables’ is so important for our health and vitality.

Tomatoes and bell peppers contain a large number of high-quality plant compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C and E and dietary fibres. That is why the consumption of these ‘fruiting vegetables’ is so important for our health and vitality.

A small fraction of the Dutch bell pepper and tomato production is not sold. This includes class II fruit. The horticulture sector has launched a number of initiatives to nevertheless use the unsold fruits as juice, sauce, soup and jam or by extracting specific high-quality substances such as lycopene from tomatoes and bringing it on the market as a healthy colourant.

The unsold tomatoes and bell peppers can also add value to the cattle feed industry. The Centre of Expertise for Plant Compounds recently commissioned an exploratory study in this area. The study shows that besides a basic feed value, these vegetables also have added value as a colourant for yolk colouring in laying hens, an antioxidant, an antibacterial agent and an agent to increase resistance to infections. Its highest added value is realised through its use in feeders for piglets, broiler chickens and laying hens. This can increase to an estimated €500 per ton of dry matter. To do this, however, it is important to create a pulp with at least 35% dry matter and to ensure that the healthy plant compounds are also always present and the pulp on them is inspected. This pulp from tomatoes and bell peppers can then be turned into a valuable resource on the cattle feed market as a value-added feed with a nutrient content claim.

Two cattle feed companies took part in the exploratory study and expressed keen interest in this healthy raw material produced by the horticulture sector. For them, it’s important to have a constant supply of a consistent quality and to get the most out of the positive effects.