Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that gives its red color in plants such as grapefruit, watermelon, and tomatoes. The amount of lycopene in the plant varies according to climatic conditions, soil characteristics and plant type. It is mostly found in tomato and tomato products (such as tomato juice, soup, tomato paste, ketchup, sauce).

It is a pigment with high antioxidant properties. The human body cannot produce this pigment. Therefore, it must be taken into the body with food.

Lycopene changes from the trans form to the cis form with heat treatment, thus increasing its bioavailability. So it is more useful in tomato products.

It is a food additive used as a colorant. It is commercially isolated from tomato. It is encoded with the code E160d.


Bıçaklı D., Uslu R., 2012. Likopen ve Kanser (Lycopene and Cancer), Turkish Journal of Oncology, 27(2):93-97.