ABSTRACT: The effects of mechanical and thermal treatments on the consistency and in vitro lycopene accessibility of crushed tomatoes were evaluated. Different crushing intensities and a subsequent heat treatment carried out as a heat shock (95 °C for 8 min) or a boiling step (100 °C for 20 min) were examined. Additional homogenization was compared with milder crushing regarding the effect on lycopene content and in vitro accessibility. Textural properties, polygalacturonase and pectinmethylesterase activity, pectin degree of methoxylation, lycopene content, and in vitro lycopene accessibility were evaluated. Microstructure was studied using both light and transmission electron microscopy. Crushing and subsequent heating affected the pectin degree of methoxylation and the consistency of the crushed tomatoes. The mechanical and thermal treatments did not affect the lycopene content to any great extent; however, in vitro accessibility seemed to improve with extensive crushing followed by heating. Crushing or homogenization in itself was not enough to increase in vitro lycopene accessibility.