Have you ever tasted a delicious juicy tomato? I have! I love them! The tomato juice molecule is called lycopene. It is responsible for the reddish pink color in a tomato. The lycopene chemical formula is C40H56 or 40 carbon atoms and 56 hydrogen atoms. Lycopene is a linear hydrocarbon. It is a carotenoid which is a pigment in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage and diseases like cancer and heart attacks. At first the green is caused by chlorophyll. As the tomato picking season comes, the weather becomes colder, which causes the chlorophyll to dissolve revealing the red color. The acidity of the tomato juice affects the taste of the tomato. Lycopene is fat-soluble meaning that you have to eat it with at least a small amount of fat. Tomatoes are used in many of my favorite italian dishes!

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