Lycopene is more bioavailable from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes

Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jul;66(1):116-22. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/66.1.116.


Lycopene bioavailability from a single dose of fresh tomatoes or tomato paste (23 mg lycopene) ingested together with 15 g corn oil was compared by analyzing carotenoid concentrations in the chylomicron fraction. The lycopene isomer pattern was the same in both fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. The triacylglycerol response in chylomicrons was not significantly different after both treatments. Ingestion of tomato paste was found to yield 2.5-fold higher total and all-trans-lycopene peak concentrations (P < 0.05 and P < 0.005, respectively) and 3.8-fold higher area under the curve (AUC) responses (P < 0.001) than ingestion of fresh tomatoes. The same was calculated for lycopene cis-isomers, but only the AUC response for the cis-isomers was significantly higher after ingestion of tomato paste (P < 0.005). No difference was observed in the alpha- and beta-carotene response. Thus, in humans, the bioavailability of lycopene is greater from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Carotenoids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chylomicrons / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Lycopersicon esculentum*
  • Male
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Chylomicrons
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene