Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 41–53 | Cite as

Lycopene; chemistry, biosynthesis, metabolism and degradation under various abiotic parameters

  • Soma SrivastavaEmail author
  • Avanish Kumar Srivastava


Lycopene, the predominant carotenoid in tomatoes, is among the major carotenoids in serum and tissues of humans. Epidemiological studies have proven the bioactive role and potential disease prevention property of carotenoids and their consumption has been associated with reduced risk of degenerative diseases. Lycopene is reported to have a variety of pharmacological and nutritional effects in animals and humans, on one hand and promising health benefits as an antioxidant on the other. However, a need exists for better exploration of its biosynthesis, metabolic aspects, tissue distribution and bioavailability. To contribute to this effort, this integrated review presents data on the physico-chemical aspects, biosynthesis and metabolism, with special focus on the stability and degradation under various abiotic parameters. Heat light and oxygen are the main factors which induce degradation of lycopene via trans-cis isomerization and oxidation and reduce its health benefits. The stability of lycopene is also varied in different food matrices. Controversy also exists on some issues such as bioavailability and absorption of this compound which needs to be explored further.


Abiotic Bioavailability Biosynthesis Degenerative diseases Epidemiological studies Isomerization 



Isopentenyl pyrophosphate


Acetyl coenzyme A


Mevalonic acid


Dimethylallyl pyrophosphates


Very low density lipoprotein


Low density lipoprotein


High density lipoprotein


Biological value


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© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR- Central Arid Zone Research InstituteJodhpurIndia
  2. 2.DRDO- Defence Research & Development EstablishmentGwaliorIndia

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