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The Tangerine: Top Tomato?

Date:
February 6, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Research involving tomato sauce made from an heirloom tomato variety named the tangerine tomato has established that a specific chemical form of lycopene is more effective in increasing the levels of this much-heralded antioxidant in people's blood.
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Tangerine Tomato.
Credit: W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

Research involving tomato sauce made from an heirloom tomato variety named the tangerine tomato has established that a specific chemical form of lycopene is more effective in increasing the levels of this much-heralded antioxidant in people's blood.

Ohio State University's Steven J. Schwartz and colleagues point out that many deeply colored vegetables and fruits are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid linked to health benefits. However, not all of the lycopene is bioavailable — able to be absorbed into the blood after consumption, they note in a report scheduled for the Feb. 7 issue of the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly journal.

Red tomatoes, for instance, are very rich in lycopene, but it is the so-called trans isomer, a chemical form different from the cis isomer, that people absorb more efficiently into the body. In their experiments, researchers fed volunteers tomato sauce made from tangerine tomatoes, which have a bright orange color and more of the cis lycopene isomer. Volunteers also ate tomato sauce made from a different tomato variety especially rich in another carotenoid, beta-carotene.

Volunteers absorbed large amounts of both carotenoids. The researchers concluded that tomato sauce and other tomato products made from such varieties of tomatoes could provide a way to increase the bioavailability of carotenoids in the diet.


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American Chemical Society. "The Tangerine: Top Tomato?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205125625.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, February 6). The Tangerine: Top Tomato?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205125625.htm
American Chemical Society. "The Tangerine: Top Tomato?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205125625.htm (accessed May 26, 2015).

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