Different Mediterranean soffritos (sautéed vegetables and spices, usually a combination of tomatoes, garlic, and onions cooked in olive oil) were analyzed for their content of healthy antioxidants. Researchers identified 40 different types of polyphenols, including some never previously reported in Mediterranean soffrito. Polyphenols are associated with low incidence of cardiovascular disease. The soffritos also contained other beneficial compounds such as carotenoids and vitamin C. The amount of the antioxidants differed among soffritos according to the type of vegetables or olive oil used to make them. Researchers also discovered that the health benefits obtained from soffrito are better than the benefits obtained from eating each ingredient separately.
Food Chemistry. 2013 Dec 15; 141(4): 3365-3372 (Vallverdú-Querald, et al.) [EPub ahead of print]