Antioxidant Carotenoid. Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment which gives tomatoes their red color and has been the focus of recent scientific research. Lycopene is one of the four main carotenoids normally found in human blood and tissue. Studies show that lycopene is a scavenger of singlet oxygen offering powerful antioxidant protection. The body cannot convert lycopene into vitamin A; thus lycopene is reserved exclusively for antioxidant use.