Study Confirms Power of Lycopene

Study Confirms Power of Lycopene in Processed Tomato Products, Article Continues Stream of Research on Benefits of Powerful Antioxidant in Soups, Sauces, Ketchup     

 

Press Release

Monday, July 16, 10:43 am Eastern Time

Study Confirms Power of Lycopene in Processed Tomato Products, Article Continues
Stream of Research on Benefits of Powerful Antioxidant in Soups, Sauces, Ketchup

PITTSBURGH – (BW Health Wire) – July 16, 2001 – Tomatoes fresh from the garden taste great, but don’t worry about losing any health benefits when tomato season is over.

The latest research provides new evidence that levels of lycopene are maintained, or even increase, when tomatoes are processed into soups, sauces and ketchup. Lycopene is the ingredient in tomatoes that makes them red and it’s also the ingredient tied increasingly to important health benefits.

A recent article in the Spring 2001 edition of the Journal of Medicinal Food discusses evidence that the powerful antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes retains or increases its potency during processing and storage, “Lycopene Content of Tomato Products: It’s Stability, Bioavailability and In Vivo Antioxidant Properties” was written by nutrition researchers Venket Rao, Ph.D., Anita Agarwal, Honglei Shen and Sanjiv Agarwal, Ph.D.

Research from across the world in recent years has strongly suggested that lycopene may help fight prostate and other forms of cancer, heart disease and other maladies. Previous research has indicated that processing may make lycopene more available to the body by extracting it from the tomato cell walls. Also, the heating process seems to change the chemical structure of lycopene and make it more bioavailable, i.e. used by the body.

“Dr. Rao and the rest of this team continue to break new ground in studying the bioavailability of lycopene,” said Dr. David Yeung, Ph.D., director, corporate nutrition, H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ – news). “This new study is among the first to show that lycopene maintains its antioxidant properties during the actual processing and continues to maintain it during storage of up to 12 months.”

“We were very excited about the results,” said Dr. Rao, a full professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, the University of Toronto. “Although much research remains to be done, we were glad to contribute to the growing evidence that processed tomato products provide the many potential health benefits of lycopene.”

Dr. Yeung and Dr. Rao recently co-authored Unlock the Power of Lycopene: REDefining Your Diet for Optimum Health, published by arpr, inc., of Pittsburgh. In that book, they offer a reader-friendly overview of the latest research on the possible health benefits of lycopene, in addition to highlighting the history and many amazing facts about the tomato.

Available for interviews:

Dr. Venket Rao, Ph.D., full professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Dr. David Yeung, Ph.D., director, corporate nutrition, H.J. Heinz Company

Unlock the Power of Lycopene is an illustrated paperback published by arpr, inc., of Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.A. This 82-page book is priced at $9.50 in the U.S. and $14.95 in Canada.

Contact:

For H.J. Heinz Company
Kristin Sofran, 412/473-3407