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Detection of Lycopene in Tomato Skin

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a hydrocarbon antioxidant that is the source of the red coloring in ripe tomatoes. The potential benefits of nutritional antioxidants such as lycopene have received a great deal of attention in the popular media. A piece of tomato skin was placed in front of the DART and the positive-ion mass spectrum was recorded.

Peaks were quickly observed at the expected exact masses for lycopene and [M+H]+ (C40H57+, m/z 537.4460) and phytoene [M+H]+ (C40H65+, m/z 545.5086).

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