ABSTRACT

Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit and its products are consumed by humans all over the world. Tomatoes are rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Tomato is a good dietary source of vitamin C and other vitamins found in tomato are vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B, (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9) and vitamin K. It has high vitamin C content. Tomato fruit is source of sugars, organic acids, amino acids, proteins, fats, fibers, terpenoids, and minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, phosphate). Tomato fruit is rich in phytochemicals comprising of numerous bioactive compounds. Secondary metabolites include carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and steroidal glycoalkaloids. Nutritional value, flavor, and color of tomato fruit and their products depends on carotenoids (lycopene, (3-carotene), vitamin C, glutamic acid, sugars, and flavonoids (naringenin chalcone, quercetin). Tomato fruit and its products have high antioxidant activity due to variety of bioactive compounds it possesses. The antioxidant activity of tomato cultivars is 48-118 [’mot TEAC/100g. High antioxidant capacity of tomato is ascribed to vitamin C, vitamin E, lycopene, beta-carotene, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other bioactive phytochemicals present in it. In general, quantum of antioxidant activity depends on concentration of antioxidant compounds. During various ripening stages in tomato, antioxidant activity was correlated with bioactive 254compounds in the following order phenols>carotenes>flavonoids. Vitamin C contributed more to antioxidant activity than phenolic compounds. Different antioxidants act synergetically. In tomatoes, antioxidants scavenge peroxy radical and singlet molecular oxygen. All parts of tomato fruit have antioxidant activity and the antioxidant activity of skin and seeds together is almost equal to antioxidant activity of pulp. Consumption of tomato products relieves oxidative stress; prevents many chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, respiratory disorder, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative disorder in humans. It stimulates immune system and has chemopreventive potential. The tomato is considered as a functional healthy food.