Abstract: Tomatoes are often processed into shelf-stable products. However, the different processing steps might have an impact on the product quality. In this study, a model tomato soup was prepared and the impact of pilot-scale aseptic processing, including heat treatment and high-pressure homogenization, on some selected quality parameters was evaluated. The vitamin C content, the lycopene isomer content, and the lycopene bioaccessibility were considered as health-promoting attributes. As a structural characteristic, the viscosity of the tomato soup was investigated. A tomato soup without oil as well as a tomato soup containing 5% olive oil were evaluated. Thermal processing had a negative effect on the vitamin C content, while lycopene degradation was limited. For both compounds, high-pressure homogenization caused additional losses. High-pressure homogenization also resulted in a higher viscosity that was accompanied by a decrease in lycopene bioaccessibility. The presence of lipids clearly enhanced the lycopene isomerization susceptibility and improved the bioaccessibility.
Practical Application: The results obtained in this study are of relevance for product formulation and process design of tomato-based food products.