Carotenoid absorption in humans consuming tomato sauces obtained from tangerine or high-beta-carotene varieties of tomatoes.J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21; 55(4):1597-603.JA
Tomato sauces were produced from unique tomato varieties to study carotenoid absorption in humans. Tangerine tomatoes, high in cis-lycopene, especially prolycopene (7Z,9Z,7'Z,9'Z), and high-beta-carotene tomatoes as an alternative dietary source of beta-carotene were grown and processed. Sauces were served after 2 week washout periods and overnight fasting for breakfast to healthy subjects (n = 12, 6M/6F) in a randomized crossover design. The serving size was 150 g (containing 15 g of corn oil), tangerine sauce containing 13 mg of lycopene (97.0% as cis-isomers) and high-beta-carotene sauce containing 17 mg of total beta-carotene (1.6% as the 9-cis-isomer) and 4 mg of lycopene. Blood samples were collected 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.5 h following test meal consumption and carotenoids determined in the plasma triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein fraction by HPLC-electrochemical detection. Baseline-corrected areas under the concentration vs time curves (AUC) were used as a measure of absorption. AUC0-9.5h values for total lycopene in the tangerine sauce group were 870 +/- 187 (nmol.h)/L (mean +/- SEM) with >99% as cis-isomers (59% as the tetra-cis-isomer). The AUC0-9.5h values for total beta-carotene and lycopene after consumption of the high-beta-carotene sauce were 304 +/- 54 (4% as 9-cis-carotene) and 118 +/- 24 (nmol.h)/L, respectively. Lycopene dose-adjusted triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein AUC responses in the tangerine sauce group were relatively high when compared to those in the literature and the high-beta-carotene group. The results support the hypothesis that lycopene cis-isomers are highly bioavailable and suggest that special tomato varieties can be utilized to increase both the intake and bioavailability of health-beneficial carotenoids.