The thermal Z-isomerization-induced change in solubility and physical properties of (all-E)-lycopene

Kazuya Murakami, Masaki Honda, Ryota Takemura, Tetsuya Fukaya, Mitsuhiro Kubota, Wahyudiono, Hideki Kanda, Motonobu Goto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of Z-isomerization of (all-E)-lycopene on its solubility in organic solvents and physical properties was investigated. Lycopene samples containing different Z-isomer contents (23.8%, 46.9%, and 75.6% of total lycopene) were prepared from high-purity (all-E)-lycopene by thermal Z-isomerization in dichloromethane (CH2Cl2). As the Z-isomer content increased, the relative solubility of lycopene significantly improved. Although (all-E)-lycopene barely dissolved in ethanol (0.6 mg/L), the solubilities of lycopene containing 23.8%, 46.9%, and 75.6% Z-isomers were 484.5, 914.7, and 2401.7 mg/L, respectively. Furthermore, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses clearly indicated that (all-E)-lycopene was present in the crystal state, while Z-isomers of lycopene were present in amorphous states. A number of studies have suggested that Z-isomers of lycopene are better absorbed in the human body than the all-E-isomer. This may be due to the change in solubility and physical properties of lycopene by the Z-isomerization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 16


  • Carotenoid
  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Powder X-ray diffraction
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Thermal isomerization


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