Tomato paste is a thick tomato pulp concentrate extracted by cooking ripe tomatoes at high temperature (over 100-degree centigrade) until a thick consistency is achieved. The skin and the seeds are removed and strained, leaving only the pulp bits to cook for several hours.
Tomato paste is a perfect flavour enhancer in tomato-based dishes and a rich source of phytochemical called lycopene. According to one of the biggest studies made on the benefits of tomato-based diet on men’s reproductive health, lycopene is antioxidant and can reduce the risk of degenerative cell diseases such as prostate cancer, the second most common type of cancer in men. In the UK alone, one in 12 men suffers from prostate cancer and dies from it. Over 20,000 new cases of this type of cancer are reported annually.
The nutrition expert at Harvard Medical School named Dr. Edward Giovannucci who conducted the12- year study on the effects of tomato-based diet on almost 50,000 men in the US disclosed that significant results proved that consuming food cooked with tomatoes or seasoned with tomato paste twice a week can give you the essential lycopene to fight off the cancer-causing free radicals in your system.
Raw tomatoes have an insignificant value of lycopene, but the heat-processed tomato paste or tomato ketchup contains the highest amount of disease-fighting carotenoid. Thus, you get the full benefits of tomatoes only when cooked. Over-consumption of carotenoid does not harm the body but may change your skin colour into orange or red. The pigmentation will disappear if you discontinue consumption.