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Lycopene

lycopene, tomato extract, rose hip

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is an antioxidant and is considered an effective free radical scavenger. The substance is approved in the European Union as food colouring E 160d and is often used to colour savoury products, sauces and soups. Lycopene is able to protect human cell membranes and, according to an English study, can even prevent sunburn. The substance helps to ward off UV radiation and slow down the body’s own skin ageing process. There is still controversy as to whether the preventive intake of lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The use of lycopene to prevent dementia is also the subject of much debate. As a Finnish study has shown, regular daily consumption of tomatoes even reduces the bad cholesterol LDL, which leads to a lower risk of strokes or heart attacks. Experts recommend a maximum daily intake of 6.0 milligrams of lycopene.

 

Tomatoes

The tomato plant contains lycopene and belongs to the nightshade family and is now native to many countries around the world. Originally from South America, it was brought to Europe by Columbus in 1498. The world’s leading producers include Italy, Spain, Turkey, the People’s Republic of China and Brazil. The delicious tomatoes, which are strictly speaking berries, are harvested in summer, but are generally available all year round. As almost all tomato varieties produce ripe fruit over several weeks, the harvest time per plant is relatively long. They are actually perennial plants, but are generally cultivated as annuals. Tomatoes are extremely healthy and can protect against coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis, among other things. They also help to combat so-called “free radicals”. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a secondary plant substance that belongs to the carotenoid class. Lycopene is responsible for the rich colour of tomatoes and was first isolated in 1873. Today it is known that it has many positive and health-promoting properties.

 

Rosehips

Similar to tomatoes, rose hips also contain a large amount of lycopene. The fruits of the dog rose usually ripen in October and generally have a very vitamin-rich flesh. The dog rose is a deciduous, upright, loose shrub that can grow to a height of two to three metres. It is found almost throughout Europe, but not in the northern regions. Like tomatoes, rose hips have a very intense red colour when ripe. And there is another thing they have in common: the high lycopene content is one of the reasons why rosehips are also considered to be beneficial to health. Whether as a tea for bladder and kidney problems and colds, as an oil for skin care or as a powder to combat osteoarthritis: The rose hip offers an almost unlimited wealth from nature.

 

Tomato products are better than the raw fruit

Lycopene is very quickly and easily absorbed by the body. If we take European eating habits as a basis, 90 per cent of lycopene intake is covered by tomatoes and products containing tomatoes. Structurally, lycopene is similar to beta-carotene, but lacks the vitamin A activity.
It unfolds particularly well at higher temperatures, so those who consume tomatoes in the form of juice or pulp achieve a better effect than with raw tomatoes. The reason: heating the tomatoes breaks open the cell envelopes so that the lycopene is released more effectively.

However, people who suffer from kidney stones and also drink little should be careful when consuming lycopene from tomatoes, as the fruit contains oxalic acid, which forms stones.

 

Lycopene in cosmetics

The red colouring agent in tomatoes and rose hips is already being offered as a dietary supplement to support the tissue density of mature skin. However, lycopene is now also often found in high-quality skin care creams. The substance is usually used as additional protection against UV-A and UV-B rays and is therefore able to prevent wrinkles and pigmentation spots.

 

Lycopene profile

CAS number: 502-65-8

Alternative names:  E 160d, leucopin

Colour: red

Appearance: dark red needles

Solubility: moderately soluble in vegetable oils, slightly soluble in ethanol, insoluble in water

 

We like to work with these lycopene-containing active ingredients:

NameCompany NameINCI NameRemarks
SpecPure LCPSpec-Chem Industry IncLycopene
Melscreen Red EX 3RChemyunionAqua , Glycerin , Decyl Glucoside , Krameria Triandra Root Extract , Lycopene
HYDROPOMDKSHHydrolyzed Tomato Skin , Citric Acid , Sodium Benzoate , Potassium Sorbate
Lyco-SolGattefosséPrunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil , Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract
Tomato Seed OilBotanic InnovationsSolanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil
Amber OrangeBIOLIEHelianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil , Solanum Lycocarpum Fruit Extract

 

Conclusion: Lycopene from tomatoes and rosehips is a real all-rounder

Lycopene is not only able to prevent diseases, but also makes a significant contribution to protecting our skin. The substance, which is particularly abundant in tomatoes and rosehips, fends off dangerous UV rays and is therefore a real radical scavenger. Lycopene therefore not only plays an important role in our diet, but also in cosmetics. If you would like us to develop products with this antioxidant for your cosmetics line, please contact us.

 

Literature:

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seed: A review on bioactives and biomedical activities.

Kumar M, Tomar M, Bhuyan DJ, Punia S, Grasso S, Sá AGA, Carciofi BAM, Arrutia F, Changan S, Radha, Singh S, Dhumal S, Senapathy M, Satankar V, Anitha T, Sharma A, Pandiselvam R, Amarowicz R, Mekhemar M.Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Oct;142:112018

[Lycopene – the impact of supplementation on the skin aging process].

Wawrzyniak D, Rolle K, Barciszewski J.Postepy Biochem. 2023 Mar 29;69(1):47-53

Combined Effects of Carotenoids and Polyphenols in Balancing the Response of Skin Cells to UV Irradiation.

Calniquer G, Khanin M, Ovadia H, Linnewiel-Hermoni K, Stepensky D, Trachtenberg A, Sedlov T, Braverman O, Levy J, Sharoni Y.Molecules. 2021 Mar 30;26(7):1931

The Effect of Lycopene Preexposure on UV-B-Irradiated Human Keratinocytes.

Ascenso A, Pedrosa T, Pinho S, Pinho F, de Oliveira JM, Cabral Marques H, Oliveira H, Simões S, Santos C.Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:8214631

Bio-Availability, Anticancer Potential, and Chemical Data of Lycopene: An Overview and Technological Prospecting.

Amorim ADGN, Vasconcelos AG, Souza J, Oliveira A, Gullón B, de Souza de Almeida Leite JR, Pintado M.Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Feb 11;11(2):360

[Carotenoids as natural antioxidants].

Igielska-Kalwat J, Gościańska J, Nowak I.Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2015 Apr 7;69:418-28