Lycopene is a natural carotenoid occurring in tomatoes and many other non-animal sources including fruits, vegetables and microorganisms. Lycopene has been shown to provide many health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, effect on the eye and bone health or hepatoprotective properties. These health benefits together with its red color make it an attractive ingredient for functional foods.
In foods, lycopene can be successfully delivered in the form of oil-in-water emulsions, but in order to preserve its unique antioxidant properties, it has to be protected from premature oxidation.
Effect of different antioxidants on lycopene degradation in oil-in-water emulsions,
Ricard Bou, Caitlin Boon, Asiamah Kweku, Diana Hidalgo, Eric A. Decker,
Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol.2011, 113.