8 More Days of Youth for Tomatoes Could = Less Spoilage in Food-Poor Areas

August 11 2010

Tomatoes: High in vitamins (E, B6, K), thiamin, niacin,  folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, lycopene and dietary fiber…low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.  Tomatoes offer a lot to love (although the term "love apple" appears to have derived from its reputed aphrodisiac powers).

Like other produce, this fruit (yes, botanically, tomatoes are classified as fruits) has a limited shelf life once picked. Scientists from Purdue and the US Department of Agriculture have found a way to delay shriveling by about 8 days.

In developed countries, that translates into more attractive displays at the supermarket and a few extra days of storage at home. (See our "No Big Apple…" August 5 2010 post on a similar topic).

Where the modification can REALLY make a difference, though, is in areas with limited resources for refrigeration -- such as Southeast Asia and Africa, according to the article. Or Israel, the source for some of the research funding.

The science itself is  elegant: an added yeast gene increases production of the organic compound spermidine (found in all living cells), which slows aging and delays microbial delay.

I wonder, what will live-performance critics do if there are fewer rotten tomatoes to throw at unfortunate thespians?

Category: Need to Know
Filed under: Food/Nutrition; Genetic Entineering; Poverty