Correlation of lycopene measured by HPLC with the L, a, b color readings of a hydroponic tomato and the relationship of maturity with color and lycopene content

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 May;48(5):1697-702. doi: 10.1021/jf990974e.

Abstract

Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Laura) were separated, according to the ripening stage, by a sensory panel into seven groups, and color was measured on the tomato surface with a Minolta Chroma meter. The L, a, b, hue, chroma, and lycopene content were plotted against the maturity stages of the tomatoes, and several good correlations were found. The a/b ratio and the lycopene content were the parameters that allowed six of seven maturity groups in the tomato to be statistically distinguished. The lycopene content, measured by HPLC, was also correlated with the color measurements, and the a, a/b, and (a/b)(2) color factors produced the best regressions. An estimation of the lycopene content in tomatoes can be achieved by using a portable chroma meter, with a possible field usage application. Equations to calculate the lycopene content of tomatoes based on the color readings are reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Colorimetry / methods*
  • Lycopene
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry*

Substances

  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene