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    It is strongly suspected that, like lutein, zeaxanthin (ZEA) plays a biological role in the human eye. Many studies also suggest that it could reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and improve cognition. Unfortunately, it is only present in a very limited number of foods. This is why a new tomato line, named "Xantomato", whose fruits can synthesize this compound, was generated. However, whether ZEA in Xantomato is bioavailable enough for Xantomato to qualify as a nutritionally relevant ZEA source is not known. The objective was to compare the bioaccessibility and intestinal cell uptake efficiency of ZEA from Xantomato to that present in the richest sources of this compound. Bioaccessibility was assessed using in vitro digestions and uptake efficiency using Caco-2 cells. Xantomato ZEA bioaccessibility was not statistically different from that of common fruits and vegetables rich in this compound. Xantomato ZEA uptake efficiency (7.8%) was lower (P < 0.05) than that of orange pepper (10.6%) but not different from that of corn (6.9%). Therefore, the results of the in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell model suggest that Xantomato ZEA could be as bioavailable as that found in common food sources of this compound. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Lisa Morand-Laffargue, Joseph Hirschberg, Charlotte Halimi, Charles Desmarchelier, Patrick Borel. The zeaxanthin present in a tomato line rich in this carotenoid is as bioavailable as that present in the food sources richest in this xanthophyll. Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.). 2023 Jun;168:112751

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    PMID: 37120204

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