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Extraction of Lipophilic Antioxidants from Native Tomato Using Green Technologies

Darío R. Gómez-Linton1orcid tiny, Arturo Navarro-Ocaña2orcid tiny, Silvestre Alavez3orcid tiny, Ricardo Lobato-Ortiz4orcid tiny, Angélica Román-Guerrero5orcid tinyJosé Alberto Mendoza-Espinoza6orcid tiny, Juan Manuel Villa-Hernándezorcid tiny and Laura J. Pérez-Flores5*orcid tiny

1Biotechnology Ph.D. Program, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Iztapalapa Campus, F.F. C.C. St. Rafael Atlixco Ave. 186, 09310, Mexico City, Mexico

2National Autonomous University of Mexico, Outer Circuit, Coyoacan, 04510, Mexico City, Mexico

3Metropolitan Autonomous University, Lerma Unit, Herons Ave. 10, 52005, Lerma de Villeda, Mexico State, Mexico

4Postgraduate College, Montecillo Campus, Mexico-Texcoco Street km 36.5, Texcoco, 56230, Mexico State, Mexico

5Metropolitan Autonomous University, Iztapalapa Campus, F.F. C.C. St. Rafael Atlixco Ave. 186, 09310, Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Mexico

6Autonomous University of Mexico City, Liberty House Campus, Ermita Iztapalapa Road 4163, 09620, Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Mexico

§Current affiliation: University of the Sea, Km 1.5 road to Sola de Vega, 71980, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico 

Article history:

Received: 9 June 2021

Accepted: 29 November 2021

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lipophilic antioxidants; native tomato genotype; enzyme-assisted extraction; sonication; green solvents


Research backgroundTomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit is highly consumed worldwide and contains high amounts of carotenoids and tocopherols, two powerful antioxidants. Native tomato genotypes are rarely used in large-scale market but serve as a reservoir to diversify the species gene pool and can be employed to obtain functional compounds. Extraction methods are currently changing towards cleaner procedures that are more efficient and environmentally friendly, including avoiding toxic or polluting solvents.

Experimental approach. In this study, factorial and fractional factorial designs were used to evaluate the efficiency of digestive enzymes, sonication and green solvents to obtain lipophilic antioxidant extracts from native tomato. To monitor the efficiency of the extraction process, spectrophotometric quantification of total carotenoids and antioxidant activity was carried out, and then individual quantification of carotenoids and tocopherols in the extracts was done by HPLC.

Results and conclusions. Digestive enzymes and sonication increased the carotenoid content and the antioxidant activity of the obtained extracts when applied individually. However, when these treatments were applied together and in combination with isopropyl acetate, a green solvent, the obtained extracts had the highest carotenoid and tocopherol contents as well as the maximal antioxidant activity. A correlation analysis suggested that antioxidant activity resulted from synergistic effects rather than individual compounds. Tomato extracts were obtained through a rapid and environmentally friendly extraction method and their antioxidant activity was enhanced.

Novelty and scientific contributionTomato fruits have been the subject of numerous studies; however, functional compound extraction through environmentally friendly methods remains an attractive use of native tomato fruit, enhancing its limited production and harnessing a large amount of tomato product industry. There are few reports where environmentally friendly extraction methods are combined; even rarer are those where green solvents are also used. In this work, the combination of different environmentally friendly extraction methods improved the extraction of carotenoids and tocopherols and allowed to establish a more efficient process. These results could stimulate the use of clean technologies and make the native tomato more attractive for industrial or compound extraction processes.

*Corresponding author: +525558044600 ext. 6481

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