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Valorization of Tomato Processing Waste for Lycopene Extraction

Rim Driouich, Olfa Bousselmi, Ameur Cherif


Lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants and singlet oxygen quenching agents. It has been found to be of great medical importance with various anti cancer effects, cardiovascular diseases effective agent and with its ability to be an important carotenoid in preventive medicine. In Tunisia, we note a real consumption of tomato paste. With 28 production units for double and triple concentrated tomato, noting a significant production of waste (approximately 30000 Tonne/year) consisting of skins pulp and seeds, which could be an important source of lycopene. Our study is concerned with three solid-phase extraction process: assisted by ultrasonic, by microwave and by homogenizer heating at moderate temperature. Their efficiency for the extraction of lycopene contained in the tomato waste was elaborated. The effect of the main process variables (including solvent polarity, solid-to-liquid ratio, temperature and time) on lycopene recovery have been investigated. The yield of the isolated lycopene was determined using UV-Visible spectrophotometry and UPLC-DAD quantification methods. Lycopene-rich extract was obtained from the dried and milled tomatoes waste using ethanol as a food grade extraction solvent and employing microwave assisted extraction process. The optimum conditions were 30 min total extraction time at 50°C temperature and 1bar pressure. The degradation of extracted lycopene through air oxidation and day light effect were also tested. Lycopene is stable when mixed with olive oil as a natural antioxidant. Up to 80% of lycopene degradated when exposed for one month to day light at 25°C.

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