Tomatoes

Why is the tomato red?

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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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