This study investigates the effects of tomato puree fortification with several anthocyanin-rich food colorants on bioactive compound content (phenolics, isoprenoids), antioxidant capacity, in vitro biological activities and consumer acceptance. Tomato puree (tp) was added with different anthocyanin extracts from black carrot (Anthocarrot), grape fruit skins (Enocolor), elderberry fruits (Elderberry) or mahaleb cherry fruits (Mahaleb), thus obtaining a 'functional tomato puree' (ftp). The consumer acceptance (colour, flavor, taste, visual appearance) was at high level, except for Mahaleb-added ftp. Compared to the control (tp), the addition of colouring extracts increased significantly the total phenolic content, before pasteurization, in addition to the expected anthocyanin content. However, after pasteurization, mostly Anthocarrot-ftp preserved an increased phenolic (+53%) content, as well as a higher antioxidant capacity (50%), more than the other added-extracts. Consistently, against tp, Anthocarrot-ftp exhibited an increased anti-inflammatory capacity as showed by the reduced expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 in human cultured endothelial cells, under inflammatory conditions.
Keywords: Anthocyanins; Anti-inflammatory properties; Antioxidants; Endothelial adhesion molecules; Fortification; Tomato puree.
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