The healthful benefits of the world's foremost natural tomato lycopene complex easily can be added to foods and supplements, giving the public even more widespread access to its preventive and therapeutic properties.

Lyc-O-Mato[r], manufactured by LycoRed Natural Products Industries, Ltd. (Beer-Sheva, Israel), offers the industry the only natural tomato lycopene ingredient for food use, notes the supplier. The health-promoting, multi-use ingredient adds beneficial antioxidants to common foods and, in many cases, eliminates the need for additives used as artificial color.

Food technologists are considering the recently self-affirmed GRAS ingredient as a lycopene source in numerous categories including breads, cereals, beverages and processed meats.

Zohar Nir, Ph.D., vice president of marketing at LycoRed states, "LycoRed is very excited to bring the only all-natural tomato lycopene complex to food and beverage industry manufacturers who will, at last, be able to fortify their products with all the phytonutrients of the tomato, without the water and the sugar."

Lyc-O-Mato tomato oleoresin contains lycopene plus other beneficial tomato phytonutrients including carotenoids and tocopherols (vitamin E). These phytonutrients act in synergy with lycopene to produce a much sought after antioxidant benefit. Lyc-O-Mato just received a U.S. patent for its synergistic composition of lycopene and vitamin E for the prevention of LDL oxidation—a (causative) factor in cardiovascular disease.

"This patent reveals the health advantages of combining vitamin E, an antioxidant which is widely used in the industry, with Lyc-O-Mato, which provides a complex of antioxidant tomato carotenoids in addition to naturally occurring tocopherols,"? explains Nir.

Lyc-O-Mato contains a standardized level of lycopene and is available for functional food use at lycopene levels of 3% to 5%. The ingredient is available in a variety of forms for functional foods and supplements.

Because lycopene is the carotenoid responsible for the red color of the ripe tomato and the watermelon, it is an excellent natural food colorant. Consequently, the company has submitted a Color Additive Petition (CAP) for Lyc-O-Mato lycopene-rich tomato oleoresin to the FDA. Expectations are that approval for use of the ingredient as a food colorant will be granted before the end of the year, expanding its marketing opportunities.

Lyc-O-Mato Powder is produced from the same specially bred and cultivated lycopene-rich tomatoes used in Lyc-O-Mato. Using proprietary technology, the tomato fibers with natural lycopene still attached are separated from the fruit and carefully dried into a free-flowing red powder. Lyc-O-Mato Powder has a lycopene content eight times higher than that of conventional tomato powder, is free of additives and, because it contains only a small amount of soluble tomato solids, it can be added to practically any food without affecting its flavor. It is useful as both a natural lycopene source and natural food color.

"The Lyc-O-Mato Powder can be added to breads, yogurt, meats, snacks and nutritional bars," ? says Nir, "and labeled as tomato fibers."

For more information:

LycoRed Natural Products Industries, Lorri Danzig