Lycopene is an excellent natural coloring agent, covering the range of yellow, through orange, and up to red. As yellow-to-orange color, it is several times more potent than β–carotene, while as red color, lycopene is unmatched by any other natural coloring pigment available to the food industry.
|Red ripe tomatoes|
Lycopene is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of all dicylcic carotenoids, including β–carotene. In principle therefore, for commercial production, blocking the cyclization reaction and the cyclase enzyme by mutation or inhibition will led to the accumulation of lycopene.
Natural food dyes of lycopene