Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Irreversible Genes in Tomatoes

Everyone likes buying fresh, ripe tomatoes. However, you might not be getting what you paid for. Research showed that when you buy tomatoes at the store they are not as ripe as you think. Sugars and acids, known as volatiles, immediately degrades once it is picked from the vine. If you want a ripe tomato, you might as well pick it off the vine and eat it right away. If you don't think this is bad, keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator also erases genes that are responsible for flavor.  Scientists at the University of Florida kept tomatoes in 41 degrees Fahrenheit. The results showed that the cold temperature made the tomato go into shock and it turned off genes that were responsible for flavor. Even when the tomato was kept in room temperature at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the genes were still off. It is thus recommended to store your tomatoes at room temperature at all times and to consume within a week of purchasing.


  1. This is really interesting. It is amazing that the moment that a tomato is picked off of the plant it begins to lose its flavor. I also never knew that storing it in the fridge has the same effect on the vegetable. I'm curious if this study was performed on other vegetables and not just tomatoes. If so, does temperature have the same effect on others? That would be fascinating research to look into.

    1. Yeah this article really caught my attention especially because my parents always use tomatoes to cook with. Unfortunately these scientists only focused on tomatoes so I personally don't know if other vegetables lose flavor when they are picked. I wouldn't be surprised though if other vegetables are similar in this way.

  2. I find it fascinating that plants are able to go into shock just like us. I wonder if the tomato is preserved and lasts longer in the fridge as opposed to room temperature. I agree with Julia that they should perform this experiment on other vegetables and possibly fruit in order to find the best way to store our food while maintaining its flavor.

  3. I can't believe that plants can go into shock, that is so cool. I always keep tomatoes in the fridge, but now that I know that cold temperature makes them go into shock, I will start storing them at room temperature. I agree that it would be interesting to see the results if this experiment was done with other vegetables.

  4. I find this so interesting. I have always kept tomatoes in the refrigerator. I never knew storing tomatoes in the refrigerator erases genes that are responsible for flavor. I always thought it was better to store the tomatoes in the refrigerator than at room temperature. Now, I will definitely be storing them at room temperature.