This popular bush fruit is a great source of vitamin C, carbohydrates, dietary fibre and protein. In fact, early Australian explorers used the bush tomato as a source of vitamin C in preventing scurvy.
Compared with regular tomato, 100g of bush tomato contains two thirds of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for children between the ages of 8 and 15 years (1). It is also higher in the minerals potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium and zinc (2). The bush tomato also contains the vitamins thiamine, niacin and niacin-related compounds.
Recent studies have focused on the functional properties of bush tomato and it has been shown to possess medium to strong antioxidant activity but low free radical scavenging ability. The functional properties of the fruit are due to the phenolics, anthocyanins, lycopene and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Bush tomatoes are very high in lycopene, which is an important antioxidant that scavenges free radicals. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which has been linked to cancer prevention. Tomatoes including the bush tomato are considered the best sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes actually releases lycopenes and it has been found that cooked tomatoes (including bush tomato) can contain up to 5 times more lycopenes than raw tomatoes. Bush Tomatoes also contain selenium, a rare mineral which plays a key role in the metabolism and has antioxidant properties.