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- Lycopene is a bright
red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red
fruits. Its name is derived from the tomato's species classification,
- In plants, algae, and
other photosynthetic organisms, lycopene is an important intermediate in
the biosynthesis of many carotenoids, including beta carotene, which are
responsible for pigmentation, photosynthesis, and photo-protection.
- Due to its
strong color and non-toxicity, lycopene is a useful food coloring.
- The antioxidant
capabilities of lycopene have been found to be double that of
betacarotene, which was regarded as an antioxidant without peer.
- Lycopene is also the
best quencher of a particular type of destructive free radical called
production of carotenoids in biological systems is to use recombinant DNA
techniques. The carotenoid biosynthetic pathway is especially amenable to
manipulation by recombinant DNA techniques since all carotenoids share a
- Farmers also see the
market price plummet during the late-season harvest. Tomato fields in
the Sunshine State are typically picked three or more times, about five
to seven days apart, as the fruit reaches maturity.
- Prices are highest
for the first pickings, but often dip as the market becomes saturated.
When prices are too low to justify the cost of harvest labor, farmers
stop picking, no matter how much fruit is left on the vine. Every year,
they abandon at least 10% of the crop.
- Researchers at
Universities have produced tomato extract with supercritical CO2 leaving
a concentrated mixture of several carotenoids, including lycopene.
is the most predominant carotenoid in human plasma, present naturally in
greater amounts than beta-carotene and other dietary carotenoids. It is
an acyclic isomer of beta-carotene. In human plasma, Lycopene is present
as an isomeric mixture, with 50% as cis isomers.
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