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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Collins, Julie
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope
item Roberts, B

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2006
Publication Date: 8/27/2006
Citation: Collins, J.K., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Roberts, B.W. 2006. Lycopene: From plants to humans. HortScience. 41(5):1135–1144.

Interpretive Summary: Lycopene is one of about 600 carotenoids naturally found in plants, bacteria, fungi and algae. Like other carotenoids such as lutein and B-carotene, lycopene has dual roles in humans and plants as a free-radical scavenger and exhibits strong antioxidant properties in vitro. Within the past five years, more than 1000 research studies have been written about the carotenoid lycopene. This review summarizes the horticultural, food science, and medical studies on lycopene.

Technical Abstract: Lycopene is a pigment that imparts a red or red-orange color to some fruits and vegetables. This carotenoid has been extensively studied over the last 10 years because of its potent antioxidant activity and medical evidence that dietary intake can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The purpose of this review is to provide researchers in the areas of horticulture and food science a current summary of available information on lycopene in plants, stabilization and extraction, and medical studies done with this pigment.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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