Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Throw Away the Hexane: a Novel Spectrophotometric Method for Analyzing Lycopene Content in Watermelon, Tomato and Grapefruit

item Davis, Angela
item Fish, Wayne
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2002
Publication Date: August 1, 2002

Technical Abstract: Lycopene is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties. This carotenoid imparts the red pigment in watermelon, tomato, and pink grapefruit but in few other fruits and vegetables that are typically consumed in a North American diet. Because of its health benefits and food colorant potential, lycopene content in fruits is of interest to the food industry. Current methods to assay lycopene content in fruit are time consuming, expensive and use hazardous organic solvents. We report a method by which color absorbance was used to quantify lycopene content in watermelon, and tomato flesh puree, tomato products and grapefruit juice. This method is rapid, inexpensive and needs no hazardous chemicals. This simple method using a xenon flash colorimeter/spectrophotometer for measuring lycopene content in watermelon and watermelon products promises widespread use for lycopene quantitation.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015