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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014, Article ID 139873, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/139873
Review Article

Enhancing the Health-Promoting Effects of Tomato Fruit for Biofortified Food

Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Università 100, Portici, 80055 Naples, Italy

Received 13 December 2013; Accepted 1 February 2014; Published 12 March 2014

Academic Editor: Laura Di Renzo

Copyright © 2014 Assunta Raiola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Consumption of tomato fruits, like those of many other plant species that are part of the human diet, is considered to be associated with several positive effects on health. Indeed, tomato fruits are an important source of bioactive compounds with known beneficial effects including vitamins, antioxidants, and anticancer substances. In particular, antioxidant metabolites are a group of vitamins, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and phenolic acid that can provide effective protection by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules linked to the development of a number of degenerative diseases and conditions. In this review, we will summarize the recent progress on tomatoes nutritional importance and mechanisms of action of different phytochemicals against inflammation processes and prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension). In addition, we will summarize the significant progress recently made to improve the nutritional quality of tomato fruits through metabolic engineering and/or breeding.