Tomato Seeds and Skins as a Source of Functional Compounds
The tomato industry must take seriously the problem of waste and by-products from tomato processing. Tomato pomace, consisting of seeds and peels, represents approximately 3% of the total quantity of the tomatoes processed and this adds up to a very significant amount. In the ecological perspective of recovery of valuable industrial by-products and environmental protection, the oil obtained from tomato seeds and many functional substances extracted from the skin can be used in the food and cosmetic fields, representing a sustainable source of these substances. Tomato seed oil can be used for several food and non-food applications, for example as a covering media for vegetables (including integral tomato sauces consisting of tomato and tomato seed oil), in oil preserves, or for bioenergy production. Biologically active molecules extracted from tomato skins could be used in different products.