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lycopene ly·co·pene (lī'kə-pēn')
The red pigment of the tomato that is considered chemically to be the parent substance from which all natural carotenoid pigments are derived.
an organic compound belonging to the isoprenoid series and responsible for the red colour of the tomato, the hips and haws of the wild rose, and many other fruits. Lycopene is an isomer of the carotenes, the yellow colouring matter, both having the same molecular formula, C40H56, but differing in structure. Lycopene was isolated from the black bryony (Tamus communis), a European yam, in 1873, and from tomatoes in 1875.