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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Dec 3;51(25):7318-25.

Cleavage products of lycopene produced by in vitro oxidations: characterization and mechanisms of formation.

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UMR Safety and Quality of Plant Products, INRA, Domaine Saint Paul, Site Agroparc, 84914 Avignon Cedex 9, France.


The aim of this study was to produce in vitro oxidation products of lycopene, which could be possible in vivo metabolites. An oxidation of lycopene with potassium permanganate gave a range of lycopene degradation compounds resulting from the oxidative cleavage of one or two carbon-carbon double bonds. Eleven apo-lycopenals/ones and six apo-carotendials were obtained and tentatively characterized by HPLC-DAD-MS. Apo-11-lycopenal and apo-8,6'-carotendial were isolated and characterized by (1)H NMR for the first time. Lycopene was submitted to an oxidation by atmospheric oxygen catalyzed by a metalloporphyrin, a model system of the active center of cytochrome P450 enzymes. (Z)-Isomers, monoxides, and cleavage compounds of (E)-lycopene were formed. We propose a mechanism of oxidation of lycopene by this system.

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