Lycopene is an acyclic, biologically active carotenoid that constitutes foods, its preventive role in several cancerous diseases have been proved by epidemiological and experimental data. Its beneficial role in maintenance of human health is related to its significant antioxidant properties. Data of dietary lycopene intake of the Hungarian population is not available. The aims of the present complex study were 1) to measure the lycopene content of foods frequently consumed in Hungary, 2) to investigate the effect of agrotechnological procedures and food processing on lycopene content of tomatoes, 3) to estimate the lycopene intake in two groups of the Hungarian population with the use of a three-day dietary record. The best lycopene sources are the raw (5.0-16.0 mg/100 g) and processed tomatoes and tomato products (3.0-80.0 mg/100 g), and also watermelon (3.6-6.2 mg/100 g). The variety of the plants, the growing circumstances, and the weather conditions significantly influence the lycopene content of freshly consumed and processed tomato fruits. Mild technological processes can preserve a considerable amount of the original lycopene content in tomato. The estimated average dietary intakes of the Hungarian children (n=521) and adults (n=205) were 2.98 ± 4.71 mg/day/capita, and 4.24 ± 8.47 mg/day/capita, respectively. Optimal climate conditions of Hungary makes possible to produce tomato fruits with high dietary value including significant amount of health protective lycopene. Increased consumption of tomato and tomato products with high concentration of lycopene may improve the antioxidant capacity of human body, and the risk of several cancerous diseases may be reduced.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2004|
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