Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Make Tomatoes Great Again

Studies have shown that over the last few decades, the taste of supermarket tomatoes has changed and become less flavorful.  Professor Harry Klee has been doing research on tomatoes for years to try and fix the problem, which he foresees happening within a few years.  Tomatoes are chemically made up of three primary components: sugars, acids, and volatile chemicals.  On average, people prefer sweeter fruit; farmer's prefer bug fruit because they get paid by the pound.  This has become a dilemma because a tomato plant can only produce a certain amount of sugar through photosynthesis.  The sweetness also depends on other chemicals as well; researchers have identified 26 genes involved in producing flavorful volatiles.  They found that modern tomato varieties had versions of the genes that produced smaller amounts of the volatiles.  They have already begun working to breed a hybrid that restores flavor and retains the traits for a large size.  Although genetically modifying the tomatoes would be quicker, researches have chosen to take a natural route since most people fear the words "genetically modified organism." For people who garden at home, in exchange for a ten dollar or more donation, Dr. Klee will send a packet of these seeds.  Taste-testing is hard because everyone has different preferences; however, Klee believes they are making progress.

1 comment:

  1. I am in the middle when it comes to talking about genetically modified food. Im not particularly fond with my vegetables being grown "artificially" but it is very important when it comes to topic of growing an abundant amount of vegetables. We need a lot of vegetables but also the natural flavor should always be a priority.