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Answered 2011-03-17 20:37:12

The deep red colour that is present in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, guava and watermelon is caused by lycopene, a carotenoid. Other carotenoids include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, which give carrots their orange colour. Carotenoids are fat soluble and so in the human body are found in fatty tissue and transported by lipoproteins. They act as dietary precursors to Vitamin A and aid the immune system. However lycopene has a greater property than food colouring. It is a strong antioxidant, which can help to combat degenerative diseases such as Heart disease. It was found that increased concentration of lycopene gave an increased protective effect, so the most concentrated food sources, like tomato puree and ketchup, are better protectors against these diseases. However the human body cannot produce this molecule and needs to obtain it from tomatoes in our diet. High lycopene foods like soup are the most effective against degenerative diseases

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