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Molecules 2010, 15(2), 959-987; doi:10.3390/molecules15020959
Review

Revealing the Power of the Natural Red Pigment Lycopene

1
, 1
, 1
, 1,2,* , 3
 and 4
1 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 2 Laboratory of Analysis and Authentication, Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 3 Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 4 Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 January 2010 / Revised: 29 January 2010 / Accepted: 3 February 2010 / Published: 23 February 2010
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Abstract

By-products derived from food processing are attractive source for their valuable bioactive components and color pigments. These by-products are useful for development as functional foods, nutraceuticals, food ingredients, additives, and also as cosmetic products. Lycopene is a bioactive red colored pigment naturally occurring in plants. Industrial by-products obtained from the plants are the good sources of lycopene. Interest in lycopene is increasing due to increasing evidence proving its preventive properties toward numerous diseases. In vitro, in vivo and ex vivo studies have demonstrated that lycopene-rich foods are inversely associated to diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and others. This paper also reviews the properties, absorption, transportation, and distribution of lycopene and its by-products in human body. The mechanism of action and interaction of lycopene with other bioactive compounds are also discussed, because these are the crucial features for beneficial role of lycopene. However, information on the effect of food processing on lycopene stability and availability was discussed for better understanding of its characteristics.
Keywords: lycopene; properties; antioxidant; diseases; by-product lycopene; properties; antioxidant; diseases; by-product
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kong, K.-W.; Khoo, H.-E.; Prasad, K.N.; Ismail, A.; Tan, C.-P.; Rajab, N.F. Revealing the Power of the Natural Red Pigment Lycopene. Molecules 2010, 15, 959-987.

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