An average size tomato boasts only 35 calories. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C and fiber, and are cholesterol free. Furthermore, new medical research suggests that the consumption of lycopene, the stuff that makes tomatoes red - may prevent cancer. Lycopene is part of the family of pigments called carotenoids, which are natural compounds that create the colors of fruits and vegetables. For example, beta carotene is the orange pigment in carrots. As with essential amino acids, they are not produced by the human body. Lycopene us the most powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family and, with vitamins C and E, protect us from the free radicals that degrade many parts of the body. Tomatoes are used in many food product, including, of course ketchup, pasta and pizza. Cooked tomatoes have higher concentrations of lycopene than non-cooked tomatoes. According to a Steel Packing Council survey of 1997, 68 percent of chefs use canned tomatoes for convenience, quality and flavoring. It hasn’t changed much since.