BACKGROUND: Carotenoids are important antioxidant compounds in the human diet. Due to their constrained polyene structure, carotenoids can exist in cis and trans isomeric form. In ketchups and tomato juices, all-trans isomeric forms are predominant.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the carotenoid content and lipophilic antioxidant capacity of organic and conventional tomato-based products (tomato juices and ketchups) available on the market.
METHODS: Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem mode (LC-MS/MS) and HPLC-UV were used for the identification and quantification of individual carotenoids.
RESULTS: A comparative analysis of ketchups and tomato juices produced by conventional and organic systems showed statistically higher levels (P < 0.05) of carotenoid compounds in the organic products.
CONCLUSIONS: In this paper, differences in the carotenoid content of organic and conventional tomato juices and ketchups, previously unreported, are described.