Functional Quality and Colour Attributes of Two High-Lycopene Tomato Breeding Lines Grown under Greenhouse Conditions

Ilahy Riadh, Siddiqui Mohammed Wasim, Tlili Imen, Piro Gabriela, Lenucci Marcello Salvatore, Hdider Chafik


This study investigates the antioxidant components (total carotenoids, lycopene, β-carotene, total phenols, flavonoids, ascorbic acid and total vitamin C) as well as the hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant activities (HAA and LAA) of tomato genotypes consisting of one ordinary cultivar Rio Grande and the two high-lycopene breeding lines HLT-F71 and HLT-F72. The correlation of nutritional value to L∗, a∗, b∗ colour indexes and a∗/b∗ ratio was also investigated in whole and fresh cut tomato fruits. Except for β-carotene content, significant differences were found among cultivars for antioxidants. The berries of both HLT-lines recorded higher antioxidant contents, HAA and LAA (TEAC and FRAP assays) than Rio Grande. Under controlled conditions, HLT-F72 reached the highest levels of total carotenoids (165.5 mg β-ca Eq per kg fw), lycopene (150.1 mg per kg fw) and total phenolics (549.7 mg GAE per kg fw). However, HLT-F72 exhibited the highest levels of ascorbic acid (193.3 mg per kg fw), total vitamin C (271.6 mg per kg fw) and flavonoids (450.5 mg RE per kg fw). Line HLT-F71 showed the highest HAA (148.0 µM Trolox per 100 g fw and 4.2 mM FRAP per g fw) and LAA values (258.5 µM Trolox per 100 g fw and 3.2 mM FRAP per g fw respectively). Colour readings in red ripe fresh cut tomato berries particularly a∗, b∗ and the ratio a∗/b∗ could represent an indicator not only for lycopene but also for other phytochemicals and resulting antioxidant activities. HLT-Lines may serve as a starting point for the development of semi-determinate growth habit tomato cultivars with higher functional quality.


(High-lycopene tomato; Carotenoids; Flavonoids; Greenhouse; Hydrophilic antioxidant; Lipophilic antioxidant)

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