Potential of Carotenoids from Fresh Tomatoes and Their Availability in Processed Tomato-Based Products

Tchonkouang, R., Antunes, M. D., Vieira, M. (2022)


The high consumption of tomatoes worldwide has made them an essential source of health-promoting carotenoids that prevent a variety of chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Tomatoes are available year-round, consumed fresh, and used as a raw material for the production of many processed products, such as juices, pastes, and purees. A plethora of carotenoids has been characterized in tomatoes. Most of the relevant carotenoids in the human bloodstream are supplied by fresh and processed tomatoes. Lycopene is the predominant carotenoid in tomato and tomato-based food products. Other carotenoids such as α-, β-, γ- and ξ-carotene, phytoene, phytofluene, neurosporene, and lutein are present in tomatoes and related products. There is a growing body of evidence that these bioactive compounds possess beneficial properties, namely anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and hepatoprotective effects among other health benefits, due to their antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-atherogenic properties. This chapter analyzes the carotenoid composition of tomatoes and their based products as major contributors to the chronic disease-preventive properties.

Keywords:tomato; carotenoids; health; antioxidant; chronic diseases

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