Our expert says:
Many surveys have been done to determine the nutritive content of commonly eaten foods. While I worked at the CSIR I participated in some of these studies (e.g. the nutritive content of sorghum products, maize cultivars, etc). Studies have also been done to determine losses of nutrients in foods during storage, freezing, irradiation, canning, microwaving, etc. The nutritive values given in the SA Food Tables and other food tables used elsewhere in the world are average values obtained from multiple analyses because foods also vary depending on cultivar, soil content, maturity, etc. If you eat a fruit that has a high content of a given nutrient such as vitamin C (oranges), then storage conditions will reduce the vit C content moderately, but despite this reduction the orange will still contain nearly 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for vit C. In the case of apples that are held in cold storage, their main dietary contribution is minerals like potassium and dietary fibre, both components that are not affected by storage. The best solution to variation in nutritive content is to eat a varied diet that contains many different healthy foods, so that an average you obtain the greatest benefit.
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