MAR 21, 2017 5:43 AM PDT

Creating a Tastier Tomato


There's nothing like a fresh tomato, picked right off the vine. The flavor is at its peak, and it's full of important nutrients. Because of regional weather differences, fresh produce often has to be shipped long distances. While tomatoes may be in season in California in January or February, that's still winter in Boston, so many items must be picked before they have fully matured. In the case of tomatoes, this greatly limits their flavor, color and texture, rendering them pretty tasteless and bland by the time they reach the market. If left to grow on the vine, tomatoes produce ethylene which kickstarts the maturation process that, when complete, produces a delicious fresh fruit.

Tomato growers however had to find a variety that could survive long shipping times and they did, however the chemical catalyst set in motion by the ethylene was the price they paid, with this hardier shipping variety that ripens in the store having much less ethylene. Genetic sequencing of the tomato genome, along with taste tests and research has yielded some good information. Growers now know which molecules and genes make the best varieties in terms of taste and shipping stability so hopefully this will mean tastier 'maters in stores. Could this be called better shopping through chemistry?
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
OCT 07, 2020
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
A Nature Astronomy paper in September, titled "Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus", has led t ...
OCT 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
NASA Looks to Nuclear Fusion for Powering Deep Space Missions
OCT 22, 2020
NASA Looks to Nuclear Fusion for Powering Deep Space Missions
Nuclear fusion is the frontier of energy research, and NASA has a plan to bring this state-of-the-art power source to th ...
NOV 05, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
No, Gravity Doesn't Affect How Bubbles Collapse
NOV 05, 2020
No, Gravity Doesn't Affect How Bubbles Collapse
The ubiquitous presence of bubbles makes them a common phenomenon, but interestingly our understanding of this globular ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
MAY 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
MAY 13, 2021
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
Download this smartphone app to help document one of North America's natural wonders.
Loading Comments...