European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 4, pp 907–918 | Cite as

Characterization of nutraceutical components in tomato pulp, skin and locular gel

  • Gabriella TamasiEmail author
  • Alessio Pardini
  • Claudia BonechiEmail author
  • Alessandro Donati
  • Federica Pessina
  • Paola Marcolongo
  • Alessandra Gamberucci
  • Gemma Leone
  • Marco Consumi
  • Agnese Magnani
  • Claudio Rossi


Nutraceutical properties of tomato fruits (Solanum lycopersicum L.) were investigated, focusing on selected secondary metabolites: glycoalkaloids and polyphenols (hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids). Three tomato varieties were studied: Red Round-Smooth, Cherry, and Camone (as whole fruits), and subsequently, portions of Camone fruits (skin, pulp and locular gel) were characterized. Particular attention was devoted to the locular gel portion, a by-product material from the tomato processing industry. Quantification of α-tomatine and dehydrotomatine was carried out by reverse phase liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–ESI-MS/MS). The contents of α-tomatine and dehydrotomatine in the Camone locular gel were 38.73 ± 3.32 and 4.90 ± 0.01 mg/kg dw, respectively, resulting about ten times higher than in the skin; just traces were revealed in the pulp. Samples were also assayed for antioxidant activity (TEAC, Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity) via ABTS and DPPH radical quenching, and selected targeted polyphenols were also quantified via HPLC–ESI-MS/MS. Chlorogenic and caffeic acids were the main hydroxycinnamic acids in all the varieties, while rutin was the most abundant flavonoid.


Solanum lycopersicum L. Locular gel Antioxidants Chlorogenic acid Tomatine HPLC–ESI-MS/MS 



Società Agricola Cooperativa Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro (Rivarolo del Re, Cremona, Italy), is acknowledged for the cooperation in the project titled “New industrial biotechnology process for the recovery and use of bioactive tomatine from tomato by-products”, project founded by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), 2016–2018. Toscana Life Sciences Foundation (TLS) is acknowledged for the access to the HPLC–MS instrumentation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Supplementary material

217_2019_3235_MOESM1_ESM.docx (112 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 112 KB)


  1. 1.
    Liu RH (2003) Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals. Am J Clin Nutr 78:517S–520SCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Paredes-López O, Cervantes-Ceja ML, Vigna-Pérez M, Hernández-Pérez T (2010) Berries: improving human health and healthy aging, and promoting quality life—a review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 65:299–308CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Benetou V, Orfanos P, Lagiou P, Trichopoulos D, Boffetta P, Trichopoulou A (2008) Vegetables and fruits in relation to cancer risk: Evidence from the Greek EPIC cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 17:387–392CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    González-Gallego J, García-Mediavilla MV, Sánchez-Campos S, Tuñón MJ (2010) Fruit polyphenols, immunity and inflammation. Br J Nutr 104:S15–S27CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tamasi G, Cambi M, Gaggelli N, Autino A, Cresti M, Cini R (2015) The content of selected minerals and vitamin C for potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) from high Tiber Valley Area, Southeast Tuscany. J Food Comp Anal 41:157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bonechi C, Lamponi S, Donati A, Tamasi G, Consumi M, Leone G, Rossi C, Magnani A (2017) Effect of resveratrol on platelet aggregation by fibrinogen protection. Biophys Chem 222:41–48CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bonechi C, Donati A, Tamasi G, Leone G, Consumi M, Rossi C, Lamponi S, Magnani A (2018) Protective effect of quercetin and rutin encapsulated liposomes on induced oxidative stress. Biophys Chem 233:55–63CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Leone G, Consumi M, Pepi S, Lamponi S, Bonechi C, Tamasi G, Donati A, Rossi C, Magnani A (2016) New formulations to enhance lovastatin release from Red Yeast Rice (RYR). J Drug Deliv Sci Technol 36:110–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Acosta E (2009) Bioavailability of nanoparticles in nutrient and nutraceutical delivery. Curr Opin Colloid Interface Sci 14:2–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kumar B, Smita K (2017). Scope of nanotechnology in nutraceuticals. In: Oprea AE, Grumezescu AM (eds) Nanotechnology applications in foods, Ch. 3. Academic Press, Cambridge, pp 43–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brecht JF (1987) Locular gel formation in developing tomato fruit and the initiation of ethylene production. Hort Sci 22:476–479Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Canene-Adams K, Campbell JK, Zaripheh S, Jeffery EH, Erdman JW Jr (2005) The tomato as a functional food. J Nutr 135:1226–1230CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Raffo A, Leonardi C, Fogliano V, Ambrosino P, Salucci M, Gennaro L, Bugianesi R, Giuffrida F, Quaglia G (2002) Nutritional value of cherry tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Naomi F1) harvested at different ripening stages. J Agric Food Chem 50:6550–6556CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Friedman M (2002) Tomato glycoalkaloids: role in the plant and in the diet. J Agric Food Chem 50:5751–5780CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Koh E, Kaffka S, Mitchell AE (2013) A long-term comparison of the influence of organic and conventional crop management practices on the content of the glycoalkaloid α-tomatine in tomatoes. J Sci Food Agric 93:1537–1542CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kozukue N, Friedman M (2003) Tomatine, chlorophyll, β-carotene and lycopene content in tomatoes during growth and maturation. J Sci Food Agric 83:195–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Friedman M, Fitch TE, Yokoyama WE (2000) Lowering of plasma LDL cholesterol in hamsters by the tomato glycoalkaloid tomatine. Food Chem Toxicol 38:549–553CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Friedman M, Fitch TE, Levin CE, Yokoyama WH (2000) Feeding tomatoes to hamsters reduces their plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. J Food Sci 65:897–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chen ZF, Liu YC, Huang KB, Liang H (2013) Alkaloid-metal based anticancer agents. Curr Top Med Chem 13:2104–2115CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tamasi G, Bonechi C, Donati A, Leone G, Rossi C, Cini R, Magnani A (2018) Analytical and structural investigation via infrared spectroscopy and density functional methods of cuprous complexes of the antioxidant tripeptide glutathione (GSH). Synthesis and characterization of a novel CuI-GSH compound. Inorg Chim Acta 470:158–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tamasi G, Mangani S, Cini R (2012) Copper(I)-alkyl sulfide and-cysteine tri-nuclear clusters as models for metallo proteins: a structural density functional analysis. J Biomol Struct Dyn 30:728–751CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tamasi G, Bonechi C, Rossi C, Cini R, Magnani A (2016) Simulating the active sites of Copper trafficking proteins. density functional structural and spectroscopy studies on Copper(I) complexes with thiols, carboxylato, amide and phenol ligands. J Coord Chem 69:404–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Friedman M (2013) Anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and other health benefits of tomato compounds lycopene, αtomatine, and tomatidine in pure form and in fresh and processed tomatoes. J Agric Food Chem 61:9534–9550CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Friedman M, Levin CE, Lee S-U, Kim H-J, Lee I-S, Byun L-O, Kozukue N (2009) Tomatine-containing green tomato extracts inhibit growth of human breast, colon, liver, and stomach cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem 57:5727–5733CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Singleton VL, Orthofer R, Lamuela-Raventós RM (1999) Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Method Enzymol 299:152–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Re R, Pellegrini N, Proteggente A, Pannala A, Yang M, Rice-Evans C (1999) Antioxidant activity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Free Rad Biol Med 26:1231–1237CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Brand-Williams W, Cuvelier ME, Berset C (1995) Use of a free radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. LWT Food Sci Technol 28:23–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Gómez-Romero M, Segura-Carretero A, Fernández-Gutiérrez A (2010) Metabolite profiling and quantification of phenolic compounds in methanol extracts of tomato fruit. Phytochem 71:1848–1864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Barros L, Dueñas M, Pinela J, Carvalho AM, Buelga CS, Ferreira ICFR (2012) Characterization and quantification of phenolic compounds in four tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) farmers’ varieties in Northeastern Portugal homegarden. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 67:229–234CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Martínez-Valverde I, Periago MJ, Provan G, Chesson A (2002) Phenolic compounds, lycopene and antioxidant activity in commercial varieties of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum). J Sci Food Agric 82:323–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Carrillo-López A, Yahia E (2013) HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS analysis of phenolic compounds during ripening in exocarp and mesocarp of tomato fruit. J Food Sci 78:C1839–C1844CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Silva BM, Andrade PB, Ferreres F, Dominegues AL, Seabra RM, Ferreira MA (2002) Phenolic profile of quince fruit (Cydonia oblonga Miller) (pulp and peel). J Agric Food Chem 50:4615–4618CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tomás-Barberán FA, Espín JC (2001) Phenolic compounds and related enzymes as determinants of quality in fruits and vegetables. J Sci Food Agric 81:853–876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Spencer JPE, Kuhnle GGC, Hajirezaei M, Mock H-P, Sonnewald U, Rice-Evans C (2005) The genotypic variation of the antioxidant potential of different tomato varieties. Free Rad Res 39:1005–1016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Floegel A, Kim D-O, Chung S-J, Koo SI, Chun OK (2011) Comparison of ABTS/DPPH assays to measure antioxidant capacity in popular antioxidant-rich US foods. J Food Comp Anal 24:1043–1048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wojciechowska E, Weinert CH, Egert B, Trierweiler B, Schmidt-Heydt M, Horneburg B, Graeff-Hönninger S, Kulling SE, Geisen R (2014) Chlorogenic acid, a metabolite identified by untargeted metabolome analysis in resistant tomatoes, inhibits the colonization by Alternaria alternata by inhibiting alternariol biosynthesis. Eur J Plant Pathol 139:735–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Meng S, Cao J, Feng Q, Peng J, Hu Y (2013) Roles of chlorogenic acid on regulating glucose and lipids metabolism: a review. Evid-Based Complem Alter Med 2013:801457Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zhao Y, Wang J, Ballevre O, Luo H, Zhang W (2012) Antihypertensive effects and mechanisms of chlorogenic acids. Hypertens Res 35:370–374CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Onakpoya IJ, Spencer EA, Thompson MJ, Heneghan CJ (2015) The effect of chlorogenic acid on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Hum Hypertens Res 29:77–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Olthof MR, Hollman PC, Zock PL, Katan MB (2001) Consumption of high doses of chlorogenic acid, present in coffee, or of black tea increases plasma total homocysteine concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 73:532–538CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Vallverdú-Queralt A, Amedina-Remón A, Martínez-Huélamo M, Jáuregui O, Andrés-Lacueva C, Lamuela-Raventós RM (2011) Phenolic profile and hydrophilic antioxidant capacity as chemotaxonomic markers of tomato varieties. J Agric Food Chem 59:3994–4001CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Stewart AJ, Bozonnet S, Mullen W, Jenkins GI, Lean MEJ, Crozier A (2000) Occurrence of flavonols in tomatoes and tomato-based products. J Agric Food Chem 48:2663–2669CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Moco S, Bino RJ, Vorst O, Verhoeven HA, de Groot J, van Beek TA, Vervoort J, de Vos CH (2006) A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolome database for tomato. Plant Physiol 141:1205–1218CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Slimestad R, Verheul MJ (2005) Content of chalconaringenin and chlorogenic acid in cherry tomatoes is strongly reduced during postharvest ripening. J Agric Food Chem 53:7251–7256CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Krause M, Galensa R (1992) Determination of naringenin and naringenin-chalcone in tomato-skins by reversed phase HPLC after solid-phase extraction. Eur J Food Res Technol 194:29–32Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Minoggio M, Bramati L, Simonetti P, Gardana C, Iemoli L, Santangelo E, Mauri PL, Spigno P, Soressi GP, Pietta PG (2003) Polyphenol pattern and antioxidant activity of different tomato lines and cultivars. Ann Nutr Metab 47:64–69CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Di Lecce G, Martínez-Huélamo M, Tulipani S, Vallverdú-Queralt A, Lamuela-Raventós RM (2013) Setup of a UHPLC-QqQ-MS method for the analysis of phenolic compounds in cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato juice. J Agric Food Chem 61:8373–8380CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and PharmacyUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Centre for Colloid and Surface Science (CSGI)University of FlorenceSesto FiorentinoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Molecular and Developmental MedicineUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  4. 4.National Interuniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (INSTM)FirenzeItaly
  5. 5.Operative UnitUniversity of SienaCalabriaItaly

Personalised recommendations