International journal of molecular sciences

Carotenoid profile of tomato sauces: effect of cooking time and content of extra virgin olive oil.

PMID 25927580


The consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables such as tomatoes and tomato sauces is associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases. The predominant carotenoids in tomato products are in the (all-E) configuration, but (Z) isomers can be formed during thermal processing. The effect of cooking time (15, 30, 45 and 60 min) and the addition of extra virgin olive oil (5% and 10%) on the carotenoid extractability of tomato sauces was monitored using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) and LC-ultraviolet detection (LC-UV). The thermal treatment and the addition of extra virgin olive oil increased the levels of antioxidant activity, total carotenoids, Z-lycopene isomers, α-carotene and β-carotene. These results are of particular nutritional benefit since higher lycopene intake has been associated with a reduced risk of lethal prostate and a reduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Moreover, β-carotene has been reported to suppress the up-regulation of heme oxygenase-1 gene expression in a dose dependent manner and to suppress UVA-induced HO-1 gene expression in cultured FEK4.