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Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11 (2010) 707–711

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Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies

j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / i f s e t

Nutritional characterization of tomato fiber as a useful ingredient for food industry

P. García Herrera, M.C. Sánchez-Mata, M. Cámara ⁎
Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Tomato by-product consists of peels and seeds, presenting peel high fiber content. In this work, “tomato
Received 14 May 2010 fiber” (TF) samples, obtained from tomato peels (after tomato processing) by a patented process, were
Accepted 26 July 2010 characterized in terms of fiber and macronutrients (proteins, ash, total available carbohydrates and soluble
Editor Proof Receive Date 26 August 2010 sugars). From our results, TF is mainly composed by carbohydrates, with an average value of 80% of total
dietary fiber (much higher than other vegetable by-products), being insoluble fiber the major component.
Keywords: The results obtained in this study reveal the high interest of TF as a food ingredient to be used as a valuable
Tomato ingredient of new functional foods, enhancing insoluble fiber intake in the population.
Dietary fiber Industrial Relevance: The use of tomato by-product reduces costs and justifies new investments in equipment,
By-products providing a correct solution for the pollution problem connected with tomato processing. The results obtained in
Functional ingredients this study reveal the high interest of TF as a food ingredient to be used as a valuable ingredient of new functional
foods, enhancing insoluble fiber intake in the population. According to the Regulation 1924/2006, the product TF
characterized in this study can be considered under the denomination of “Source of Fiber” (more than 3 g/100 g),
and for that reason food products containing the above mentioned fiber in quantities equal or superior to 3.9%,
could also include the same declaration of nutritional properties in their labeling.
© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction According to Del Valle, Cámara, and Torija (2005) tomato by-
products, consisting of peel and seeds, are rich in nutrients and bioactive
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.), is one of the most important compounds (as sugars, organic acids, pigments, fiber, proteins, oils,
crop in the industrialized world. Significant amounts are consumed antioxidants and vitamins). In agreement with different authors, peels
either as fresh fruit or as processed products, most of which are obtained present high fiber values (41%) and significant amount of proteins
from the mature fruit crushed, sieved and concentrated, to reach (14%), being fat only 3%. This profile is inverted in the case of the seeds,
different soluble solid contents (°Brix): tomato juice (at least 5°Brix); in which proteins are the major component (32%) followed by total fat
tomato paste (12–18°Brix) or tomato concentrate (28–32°Brix). (27%) and fiber (18%). This information suggests that solid tomato by-
During industrial transformation of tomato for concentrate, the yield product may have a great nutritional and technological interest.
of production can range between 95 and 98%, which means that about Fiber is not a simple and well defined chemical compound, but a
4% solid tomato by-product is generated (Del Valle, Cámara, & Torija, combination of chemical substances on composition and structure,
2006). Considering that the production of tomato for processing in Spain such as cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, etc. being defined as “edible
was 2355.5 × 103 tons of tomatoes in 2009, an estimated amount of parts of plants or analogous carbohydrates that are resistant to
94,220 tons of tomato by-product was produced (MARM, 2009). digestion and absorption in the human small intestine with complete
Although food by-products can be used for animal feeding, they or partial fermentation in the large intestine” (Mongeau, 2003). Fiber
usually represent an environmental problem for the industry, and includes: insoluble fiber (lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses) and
many studies have been carried out about the potential utilization of soluble fiber (pectins, β-glucans, galactomanan gums, and a large
several vegetable origin by-products for their inclusion in the human range of nondigestible oligosaccharides including inulin).
diet, which could reduce industrial costs and justify new investments The interest of fiber in human nutrition appeared from Burkitt's
in equipment, providing a correct solution for the pollution problem work (Burkitt, Walker, & Painter, 1974) who studied the relationship
connected with food processing (Lario et al., 2004).These new between the inadequate fiber intake, and the progressive increase of
ingredients could be of great interest for food, pharmaceutical, degenerative diseases, in the developed societies. Nowadays, research
chemical and cosmetic industries. show that the ingestion of suitable quantities of food fiber produces
many beneficial effects on the digestive tract, such as the regulation of
the intestinal function, improvement of the tolerance to glucose in
⁎ Corresponding author. Tel./fax: + 34 91 394 17 99. diabetics, or prevention of chronic diseases as colon cancer (Mongeau,
E-mail address: (M. Cámara). 2003; Pérez Jiménez et al., 2008). In addition, soluble fiber (mainly

1466-8564/$ – see front matter © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
708 P. García Herrera et al. / Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11 (2010) 707–711

pectins) influences fat level and arteriosclerosis in humans and animals Cámara-Hurtado, Díez-Marqués, & Torija-Isasa, 1998). Soluble sugar
(Yamada, 1996). Diverse in vivo studies have demonstrated that an standards (glucose, fructose and sucrose) were provided by Sigma-
ingestion of insoluble fiber from fruits and vegetables can produce a Aldrich, Inc. and fructooligosaccharides (kestose, nystose and fructosyl-
significant decrease of the plasmatic concentration of cholesterol, which nystose) were provided by Megazyme, Wicklow, Ireland. Calibration
implies a decrease of the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease, colon curves were performed using standard solutions with good linearity and
cancer, diabetes and obesity. Also a regulatory activity of the immune sensitivity parameters, as it is shown in Table 1. Total, soluble and
system has been attributed to dietary fiber (Brett & Waldron, 1996). For insoluble fiber were determined by enzymatic–gravimetric methods
all those reasons, the current fiber intake recommended by the Food and (AOAC, 2005; Prosky, Asp Nils Georg Scheizer, DeVries, & Furda, 1998).
Nutrition Board (Trumbo, Schlicker, Yates, & Poos, 2002) in adults is 21–
38 g/day, depending on life stage groups. According to Martínez Alvarez 2.3. Instrumentation
et al. (2003) the current Europe consumption of fiber is 20 g/person/
day, so an increase of fiber consumption is needed, and a way to achieve Analytical equipments used were: UV–visible spectrophotometer
that goal is by supplementing the diet with commercial fiber-rich EZ210 model (Perkin Elmer, Waltham, MA,USA) working at 630 nm
products. (Lambda Software PESSW ver.1.2), and HPLC system equipped with a PU II
Dietary fiber intake is not only desirable for its nutritional properties isocratic pumping system (Micron Analítica, SA, Spain); a Rheodyne valve,
but also for its functional and technological properties (Thebaudin, and a differential refractometer R401 detector (Jasco, Madrid, Spain).
Lefebvre, Harrington, & Bourgeois, 1997). The necessity of exploring Chromatographic column was Luna 5 μ NH2 100R (250 mm×4.6 mm)
new raw materials, with a balanced composition of fiber fractions and (Phenomenex, Torrance, CA, USA). All chromatograms were processed
containing a high amount of associated bioactive compounds has been using Biocrom 2000, 3.0 software (Micron Analítica, SA, Spain).
recognized. In this respect, tomato fruits are good candidates, with the Chromatographic conditions were: acetonitrile/water 80/20 as mobile
advantage of its natural color which makes tomato fiber an attractive phase and 0.9 ml/min as flow-rate.
alternative for fiber enrichment of commercial food products, as pasta,
snacks, candies, etc. 2.4. Statistical analysis
For all these reasons, previous studies have reported the usefulness
of high dietary fiber powder for the enrichment of usually consumed Statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed with
foods or for the production of dietary fiber tablets (Larrauri, 1999). All Statgraphics plus 4.1 software. Multivariate ANOVA test of two factors
fiber enriched food products are now subject to regulation regarding the was applied i) between TF batches of the same year and ii) the year of
nutrition and health claims in their labelling. In this respect, Regulation tomato campaign, in order to study their influence in all the
(EC) No. 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 parameter analysed. Also a Multiple Range Test (LSD Test, considering
December 2006, states that in EU, a food product can only be declared as a significant level of 5%) was carried out, to know which values were
a source of fiber if the product contains as minimum 3 g of fiber per different from others, and in this way, look for further explanation of
100 g or, as minimum, 1.5 g of fiber per 100 kcal. the variability of tomato fiber.
Last trends in Food Science and Technology research are focused
on developing Functional Foods especially of vegetable origin, with a 3. Results and discussion
higher added value. In this line, this paper is aimed to characterize the
commercial product “tomato fiber” in terms of nutrients and fiber as a Results of the proximate analysis of tomato fiber (TF) are shown in
bioactive compound, to be used in food industry for fiber enrichment Table 2 and Fig. 2. All data related to TF is expressed and discussed on
purposes. wet weight basis. Moisture content of TF ranged between 25.9 and
33.0 g kg− 1, lower values than other vegetable by-products as
2. Materials and methods deseeded grape pomace (60.0 g kg− 1), cauliflower, artichoke, or
chicory (90.0 g kg− 1) (Canett Romero, Ledesma Osuna, & Robles
2.1. Samples Sánchez, 2004; Femenia, Robertson, Waldron, & Selvendran, 1998).
Low water content of TF was very stable in all the samples (no
Tomato fiber samples were obtained from Agrogal tomato proces- statistically significant differences between batches and years) and
sing industry (Mengabril, Spain), where the tomato by-product (peels provides good properties for an easy preservation and microbiological
and seeds) were separated and peels were grounded and dried to obtain stability.
the “tomato fiber” (TF) by a patented process, Patent no.: p200001264 Considering that protein content in tomato pomace (fresh peels and
(Bernalte et al., 2000). Samples of TF were taken in two different tomato seeds) reported by Del Valle et al. (2006) is 44.8 g kg− 1, protein content
seasons (2005 and 2006). In each year, 3 batches of TF were considered of TF (as dry peels with a moisture content less than 35 g kg− 1) is much
for analysis (all samples were analysed on triplicate). To avoid sample higher due to the high moisture content of tomato pomace. A little
alteration they were stored in hermetic bags protected from light and variability of protein content of TF between batches (in a range between
moisture, at room temperature. 57.9 and 71.1 g kg− 1) was found. This is probably due to the original
material composition changes during the tomato season, although
2.2. Analytical methods considering the average values for TF protein content of each campaign

Moisture content was evaluated after drying in an air forced oven at a Table 1
temperature 100 ± 2 °C, during 3 h (AOAC, 2005); total mineral content Calibration parameters and sensitivity of the HPLC method, for soluble sugar and
was quantified by a dry ashing technique at 450 °C (AOAC, 2005); total fructooligosaccharides analysis.
protein by Kjeldahl method (AOAC, 2005); total available carbohydrates
Equation Range (μg) r2 (%) LD (μg)
were determined after hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates with
Glucose A = 4001c − 45,622 34–170 99.97 30.20
perchloric acid, using the anthrone colorimetric method (Osborne &
Fructose A = 2553c − 10,243 33–134 99.94 12.04
Voogt, 1986). The calibration curve was obtained by triplicate from a Sucrose A = 2439.8 c + 381 47–235 99.78 0.45
standard of glucose (Sigma-Aldrich, Inc.) in concentrations of 20 to Kestose A = 1478 c − 3222.3 26.4–132 99.90 13.40
100 μg/ml. Soluble sugars were quantified by high-performance liquid Nystose A = 1383.2 c − 2401.6 21.2–106 99.48 10.67
chromatography with IR detector, after extraction in 80% ethanol Fructosilnystose A = 1221.7c + 4861.8 45–90 99.71 11.93

(Mollá, Cámara, Díez, & Torija, 1994; Sánchez-Mata, Peñuela-Teruel, LD = limit of detection, A = peak area, c = concentration (μg/ml).
P. García Herrera et al. / Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11 (2010) 707–711 709

Table 2
Proximate composition of tomato fiber (wet weight basis).

Batch Moisture (g kg− 1) Total available carbohydrates (g kg− 1) Total fiber (g kg− 1) Proteins (g kg− 1) Ashes (g kg− 1)

Mean value Mean value Mean value Mean value Mean value
ab a b a
2005 1 31.51 131.06 857.46 58.12 19.70ab
2 31.13ab 133.76a 846.80b 71.06b 19.84a
3 33.04b 136.58a 770.63a 57.87a 21.24ab
2006 1 25.87a 96.70b 811.73ab 60.91a 22.41b
2 34.97b 98.44b 825.70ab 70.37b 21.21ab
3 26.70a 125.28a 852.67b 60.25a 21.94ab

Results expressed as mean values (n = 3). Different letters mean statistical significant differences, p b 0.05 (between batches of each year and between the two years).

(2005 and 2006) there were not statistically significant differences. This the limits of detection of the analytical applied method, it can be
protein content found in TF is lower than other fiber products reported concluded that TF samples analysed contain less than 0.32, 0.26 and
by previous authors who indicated values from 122.5 to 636 g kg− 1 for 0.60 gkg− 1of kestose, nystose and fructosylnystose, respectively.
deseeded grape pomace, cauliflower, artichoke, chicory processing by- The variability in soluble sugar contents was higher than in other
products (Canett Romero et al., 2004; Femenia et al., 1998). parameters, because sugar content is more influenced by factors as
Total mineral content of TF was quite stable and very similar variety, environment or degree of fruit maturity used as materials for
between batches and campaign. Although the average values were very processing. As fructose and glucose are the predominant sugars in
close (20.2 g kg− 1 for 2005 and 21.8 g kg− 1 for 2006) significant tomato fruits with levels of 3–30 g kg− 1 of fructose and 5–43 g kg− 1 of
differences were found (pb 0.05). Comparing with Del Valle et al. glucose, according to Fernandez-Ruiz (2003), and the content of soluble
(2006) total mineral content in TF is lower than in tomato pomace sugars diminishes during the process of elaboration of the tomato fiber
(39.2 g kg− 1), but similar in either protein and ash contents to other with regard to the initial raw material being most of them extracted into
fiber obtained from fruit by-products as apple, orange or peach the tomato juice (Del Valle et al., 2006).
(Grigelmo-Miguel & Martín-Belloso, 1999). Fructose and glucose contents in TF were similar within the same
The carbohydrate fraction was the major component of TF. Total campaign, but they presented statistically significant differences
available carbohydrates were a stable parameter on different batches of between years, as can be seen in Table 3 and Fig. 2, being the remaining
each campaign but with significant differences between the two years amount in the TF of 2.861 g kg− 1 and 6.461 g kg− 1, respectively for 2005
considered (2005 and 2006), ranging between 96.7 and 136.5 g kg− 1. and 2006 campaigns. The ratio fructose/glucose in TF is near to 1 (1.141–
These differences can be due to the fruit composition of each campaign 1.307), as it is the case of fresh tomato fruit (Fernandez-Ruiz, 2003), so
influenced by climatic and growing conditions. Cauliflower, artichoke both compounds showed similar behaviour regarding their retention in
and chicory witloof by-products presented higher values (480 g kg− 1– TF. Sucrose was not detected in TF (limit of detect. 2.3× 10−4 g kg− 1),
868 g kg− 1) and tomato pomace lower values (64.5 g kg− 1) than since it is present in very low amounts in the raw material, as reported
tomato fiber (Del Valle et al., 2006; Femenia et al., 1998). by Fernandez-Ruiz (2003).
Although fructooligosaccharides (kestose, nystose and fructosylnys- The difference between total available carbohydrates and total
tose ) can be present in tomato fruits in a very low concentration, as it has content of soluble sugars would be other available carbohydrates
been reported by Hogarth, Hunter, Jacobs, Garleb, and Wolf (2000) who (mainly starch), which represent 10.484 g kg− 1 and 4.220 g kg− 1,
found 0.30 gkg− 1 of kestose, 0.20 gkg− 1 of nystose and 2.20 gkg− 1 of respectively in 2005 and 2006 campaigns. These mean a very different
fructosylnystose in tomato paste, other authors (Campbell et al., 1997; proportion between total soluble sugars/other available carbohy-
Muir et al., 2009) did not detect any fructooligosaccharides in tomato drates between campaigns, being 21.4/78.5 in 2005, and 60.5/39.5 in
juice, puree and sauce, considering a detection limit of 0.20 gkg− 1. In the 2006. These differences could be attributed to a higher degree of
TF analysed in this study, the HPLC method was optimized for maturity of the fruits used for TF elaboration.
fructooligosaccharides determination, but only fructose and glucose Fiber represented more than 80% of TF, being insoluble fiber content
were identified and quantified (Fig. 1 and Table 3). Fructooligosacchar- (726–798 g kg− 1) much higher than soluble fiber (44–85 g kg− 1), with
ides were not identified in any of the TF analysed samples; according to no statistically significant differences between campaigns (Table 4 and
Fig. 3).
Comparing the TF by-product with other commercial vegetable by-
products, it can be observed that fiber content in TF (average value of
827.0 g kg− 1 of total fiber) is much higher than in cauliflower by-
product (23 g kg− 1 of total fiber in floret and 31 g kg− 1 in upper stem),
artichoke by-product (32 g kg− 1 in receptacle and 36 g kg− 1 in stem) or
than chicory by-product (7 g kg− 1 in leaf bud and 48 g kg− 1 in root)

Table 3
Soluble sugars content by HPLC in tomato fiber.

Batch Fructose (g kg− 1) Glucose (g kg− 1)

Mean value Mean value

2005 1 1.340a 1.350a

2 1.381a 1.417a
3 1.852a 1.242a
2006 1 3.834b 2.867b
2 3.459b 2.944b
3 3.691b 2.589b

Fig. 1. HPLC profile of soluble sugars in tomato fiber (column: Luna 5 μ NH2; eluant: Results expressed as mean values (n = 3). Different letters mean statistical significant
acetonitrile/water 80/20; 0.9 ml/min; refraction index detection). differences, p b 0.05 (between batches of each year and between the two years).
710 P. García Herrera et al. / Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11 (2010) 707–711

Fig. 2. Multiple range test (LSD, 95.0%) applied to the data of proximal composition and soluble sugar content of tomato fiber (different letters mean statistically significant

(Femenia et al., 1998), as well as different types of grape pomace (about enough to meet the legal requirements to use the nutritional claim
544 g kg− 1 according to Canett Romero et al., 2004), which provides by- “Source of Fiber”. Results obtained in this study contribute to
products with levels of dietary fiber close to TF, as it is the case of grape demonstrate that TF meets many of the requirements for an “ideal
antioxidant dietary fiber (730 g kg− 1) (Pérez Jiménez et al., 2008). Del dietary fiber” reported by Larrauri (1999). Further research would be
Valle (2004) reported 803.9 g kg− 1 of insoluble fiber and 85.36 g kg− 1 desirable, to assess the physiological effects of this fiber in the human
of soluble fiber in tomato by-product, which are in concordance with body, as well as the physico-chemical effects in the food products
those obtained in the present study on TF. However, the ratio between enriched with “tomato fiber”.
insoluble and soluble fiber in TF (near 10:1) is more similar to grains
than to other fruit products (Grigelmo-Miguel & Martín-Belloso, 1999).
From all the obtained results it can be concluded that the TF is mainly
composed by carbohydrates, with an average value of 80% of total
dietary fiber (much higher than other vegetable by-products), being
insoluble fiber the major component, which might justify its use as a
functional ingredient for the elaboration of food ingredients with
potential health-promoting effects. Its inclusion in fiber poor products
could contribute to enrich the insoluble fiber content, and thus enhance
the fiber intake in the population. According to the Regulation 1924/
2006, the product TF characterized in this study can be considered under
the denomination of “Source of Fiber”, since its contents surpass 3 g/
100 g (see Table 2). Considering the mean fiber content of TF product, a
minimum addition of 3.9 g of TF per 100 g of final product will be

Table 4
Fiber fractions in tomato fiber.

Batch Insoluble fiber (g kg− 1) Soluble fiber (g kg− 1)

Mean value Mean value

2005 1 782.87ab 74.59ab

2 767.47ab 79.33ab
3 726.06a 44.58a
2006 1 746.11ab 65.63ab
2 740.06a 85.64b
3 798.48b 54.19ab

Results expressed as mean values (n = 3). Different letters mean statistical significant Fig. 3. Multiple range test (LSD, 95.0%) applied to the data of fiber fractions of tomato
differences, p b 0.05 (between batches of each year and between the two years). fiber (different letters mean statistically significant differences).
P. García Herrera et al. / Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11 (2010) 707–711 711

Acknowledgment prepared and preserved foods. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 48,
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Larrauri, J. A. (1999). New approaches in the preparation of high dietary fibre powders
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