April 2020
University of Teramo
Author Name: 
Romina di Gianbattista
Tutor name: 
Lilia Neri
Co-tutor name: 
Paola Pittia

Tomato is the most diffused crop worldwide and it is a fundamental vegetable not only in the Mediterranean diet, but also in other diet, since it is consumed fresh as well as in the processed forms. It is well recognized as tomato has an important function in human health, preventing and reducing risks of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases and lethal infections (Weisburger, 1998; Rao and Agarwal, 1999; Michaud et al., 2000; Burton-Freeman and Reimers, 2011; Friedman 2013). Bioactive properties of raw tomatoes and tomato processed products are mainly due to their chemical content in antioxidants compounds such as carotenoids (lycopene and β-carotene), phenolics, ascorbic acid, Vitamin E and flavonols (Ferreres et al., 2010; Frusciante et al., 2007; Toor and Savage, 2005), whose amount can vary depending on type of processing, type of cultivation and nitrogen fertilization (De Pascale et al., 2004), and variety. To this regard, a particular variety of tomato, cultivated mainly in Abruzzo region, Pera d’Abruzzo “SAAB-CRA”, highlights a high content of lycopene (Migliori et al., 2012), low content in seeds and pulpy consistency; these features make it particularly suitable for both the production of tomato products and tomato-based ingredients with high nutritional properties. For industrial preparations, tomato seeds and skin, which represent from 4 up to 33 % of fruit weight depending on the variety, are removed during processing (Toor and Savage, 2005). The management of tomato by-products is one of the most important sustainability-related issues faced by processing companies (Viuda-Martos et al., 2014). With the aim to limit environmental pollution aggravation, several studies were carried out in order to encourage the clever re-use of these products. Tomato by-products, are, in fact, rich in antioxidant and health-promoting compounds, thus, by their direct dehydration and grinding, or by extracting and dehydration of bioactive compounds or fractions, functional ingredients for food formulations can be achieved (Ferreres et al., 2010; Baiano 2014; Chandra and Ramalingam, 2011; Nour et al., 2015; Karthika et al, 2016).
Encapsulation is an important technology to preserve and stabilize healthy compounds present in plant foods. This technique allows the entrapment of active agents within a wall material. The main goal is to protect these active compounds, preserving their activities, increasing their bioavailability and controlling their release in the matrix. Different carrier materials (e.g. maltodextrins, gums, alginates) and different techniques (e.g. freeze-drying, spray-drying, prilling, liposomes,..) are used for the encapsulation, depending on the type of compounds, final use of encapsulated and type of matrix to which the encapsulated
substances will be added.
The aim of this thesis was to develop new natural additives and ingredients consisting of dehydrated organic tomato products or encapsulated natural extracts to be used as natural preservatives, colorants, flavorings or for nutritional fortification in the production of organic foods with high added value. To this purpose both juice and by-products (skin and seeds) from tomato cv. Pera d’Abruzzo tomato were used.

Collaboration with other SUSORG+ organisation: