The first thing to say is something which leaps to everyone’s attention and, above all, to everyone’s palate: not all sauces are the same! The most popular ones, indeed 90% of the more commonly found sauces, are industrially manufactured with (at least!) two separate phases of transformation. The first phase, “preparation” (washing, sterilisation, stabilisation), produces a "semi-processed" product from the harvested vegetables. Usually, this is a very invasive procedure.
The semi-processed product can then be used to make meat and vegetable sauces (the second phase) avoiding the difficult preparation required for fresh produce. Very few sauces are produced using freshly harvested vegetables the way La Vialla does. At the Fattoria the vegetables ripen naturally, are hand-picked ad the right moment and – most importantly – grown using certified organic and biodynamic farming methods.
In addition to all this, when using fresh fruit and vegetables, it is important to preserve their precious qualities during the subsequent phases as well, that is to say during cleaning, cooking and bottling.
A tasty, fresh and fragrant sauce is not only delicious to eat, it is also a concentrate of beneficial substances: a good sauce is also good for your health.
The graph illustrates the results of a study regarding the high antioxidant properties (1) of the Fattoria's products, compared with those of other products available on the market. The study was carried out in collaboration with the University of Ancona.
Amongst the tomato sauces analysed, the content of antioxidant substances in La Vialla's sauces was, on average, 32% higher.
Moreover, at the Fattoria, the sauces are prepared using exclusively extra virgin olive oil - the "king" of antioxidants - respecting Tuscan tradition and helping to create a balanced and healthy diet.
(1) The "antioxidant" effect (exerted by a combination of substances, including polyphenols, vitamins and lycopene) has the capacity, on one hand, to delay the decomposition of the tomato itself, and on the other, to have a beneficial action against free radicals in the human body.
A Note about Lycopene “ …in tomato sauce (also the more traditional, slowly cooked type) there is a very powerful and beneficial substance, lycopene, which can protect us against cancer.” These are the words of the famous Italian oncologist, Professor Umberto Veronesi, who sadly died in november 2016. Lycopene is found in raw tomatoes, but when the tomatoes are cooked, the quality increases fivefold; in contrast with other antioxidant components in vegetables which, with cooking, are altered or reduced in quantity.
Here are some studies and publications that we feel are worth looking into:
- Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers & Prevention; October 2014 Adherence to Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations and Prostate Cancer
Risk in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) Trial “….Therefore, additional dietary recommendations for prostate cancer prevention could include lowconsumption of calcium and high intake of selenium and foods containing lycopene….” “…It has been postulated that the protective effect is conferred by lycopene, the major carotenoid in tomato,although epidemiologic evidence remained controversial. While lycopene is more bioavailable in tomatoproducts as a result of food processing and preparation, men should consume pizza, tomato sauce, and bakedbeans in moderation due to their high salt, sugar, and fat content….” http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/
- Atherosclerosis journal, 2017 Tomato and lycopene supplementation and cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis http://www.atherosclerosis-journal.com/article/S0021-9150(17)30010-2/fulltext
- Food Science and Nutrition Lycopene and Its Antioxidant Role in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases - A Critical Review http://www.tandfonline.com
- NCBI - National Center for Biotechnology Information Molecular evidence that oral supplementation with lycopene or lutein protects human skin against ultraviolet radiation: results from a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
- The Bone Journal Lycopene treatment against loss of bone mass, microarchitecture and strength in relation to regulatory mechanisms in a postmenopausal osteoporosis model http://www.thebonejournal.com/