STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists work on bringing back the lost tomato flavor. Nowadays, the tomatoes we all buy from the supermarket have no longer the tastes we once knew they had. Thus, specialists decided to act accordingly, trying to find a method to bring back tasty tomatoes. Homegrown tomatoes are way tastier and healthier than those we find in the supermarket.
Traditional tomatoes breeds are planted and grown in gardens, being known as heirloom tomatoes. This kind of tomatoes grows into strangely shaped little tomatoes, being very tasteful. Vegetables we usually buy from the supermarket are more likely to have strange sizes, being pumped up and having no taste.
The reason why we have disappointing experiences when purchasing supermarket tomatoes is that farmers have plants which undergone an intensive artificial selection process meant to breed big, round and appealing-to-the-eye fruits. Nevertheless, they deprived those fruits and vegetables of taste.
An international team of researchers has identified the chemical compounds which make heirloom tomatoes have that natural tomato flavor. They revealed the genes that produce that specific chemical compounds. This new research could help a lot of farmers to grow tasty tomatoes again. The flavor of this vegetable is given by particular airborne molecules known as volatiles.
These molecules originate from the fruit’s flavor chemicals. Researchers have asked some consumers to rate a hundred tomato varieties. Thus, they have unveiled 13 volatiles which is significant in creating most pleasant flavors. What is more, scientists also discovered that these molecules were remarkably reduced in modern tomato varieties compared to the composition of heirloom ones.
Specialists found that those tomatoes which were bigger tended to contain less sugar. Tomatoes’ region of origin is the Andean region in South America. They belong to the Solanaceae family, being strongly related to peppers and potatoes. Originally, the ancestral tomato was known to be tiny, like a pea. Unfortunately, there is no data which attests for how long they were grown for human consumption.
Nevertheless, this vegetable reached to be very popular from the 15th century when they were first sent to Europe. When the industrialization of farming started, the tomato breeding business began with rigorous selection for shelf life and fruit size. Unfortunately, recent efforts to bring back tomato flavor proved to be unsuccessful.
Image courtesy of: pixabay