Lycopene is widely found in the fruit and other tissues of plants in the valley, with the highest levels found in the fruit, commonly found in tomatoes, carrots, watermelons, persimmons, kale, and red olive oil.
Physiological functions of lycopene
1.1 Anti-cancer effects of lycopene
Some studies believe that lycopene can promote stimulation of cell gap binding, effectively inhibit the loss of cell gap link communication function caused by cancer; at the same time, it can inhibit the formation of nitrosamines, thus playing a certain role in the fight against cancer.
1.2 Antioxidant effect
Lycopene, like other carotenoids, is effective at scavenging singlet oxygen to remove excess free radicals from the body. Its high antioxidant capacity is due to the influence of 11 conjugated double bonds in its structure, which scavenge singlet oxygen at a rate 100 times that of vitamin E and twice that of carotene. Singlet oxygen is a factor in the development of cataracts, so lycopene may provide some protection against cataracts. Lycopene is also known to reduce the incidence of skin cancer.
1.3 Immunity boosting and lipid lowering
The phagocytes of the human immune system can be sheltered by lycopene to prevent auto-oxidative damage and improve immunity, while lycopene promotes lymphocytes, stimulates T cells and other tumor-killing cells. In terms of lowering blood lipids, Fuhrman et al. concluded that the ability of lycopene to regulate cholesterol metabolism at the cell culture level, lycopene inhibits the formation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, strengthening the body's role in regulating blood lipids.
Sources, Functions and Applications of Lycopene
Applications of Lycopene
Tomato fruit after extrusion, seed meal for pressing tomato seed oil, other pulp and peel paste after pretreatment spray drying, making dry powder, extraction distillation concentration and deodorization to get lycopene concentrated extract, adding vegetable oil ingredients in the extract, wall material preparation, pill pressing, shaping, drying, to get finished lycopene soft gelatin capsules.
2.2 Alternatives to preservatives
In the long-term transportation and preservation of meat products, oxidation often changes the flavor and color of ingredients, people often use nitrite to inhibit microbial growth, extend shelf life, and prevent spoilage. Research shows that nitrite is a carcinogen, but lycopene, a red pigment with strong antioxidant characteristics, can be used to replace nitrite, is an emerging superior preservative and colorant, adding lycopene products can reduce the pH of meat, to inhibit the breeding of bacteria to preserve the effect.
2.3 Applications for functional beverages
The development of functional foods, which can provide healthy nutrition and advanced functions to specific groups of people, has been rapid. As early as 1999, Roche added lycopene formula to the sports drink developed by Roche, and later Coca-Cola also successively launched red functional drinks rich in lycopene, which can effectively relieve body fatigue, and has the effect of preventing and delaying chronic diseases, developing lycopene functional drinks has broad market prospects.