purple tomato began in 2008 but has recently just been approved by the USDA for the public to purchase and grow. This new purple tomato has clear physical differences from the domesticated red tomato but it also offers health benefits as well. Domesticated tomatoes contain the genes to produce 2 kinds of antioxidants, lycopene and anthocyanin, but the gene to produce anthocyanin is shut off. So through the use of genetic engineering genes from a flower called the snapdragon can be implanted into the tomato and allow both antioxidants to be produced. The purple tomato is said to provide similar health benefits to blueberries and blackberries.
This was a very interesting study to read about. The fact that this project has been going on for over 15 years and has just been approved shows the speculation towards genetic engineering, especially in terms of food. But this study should show the potential genetic modification has, as more nutritious foods can be produced for the public. This has potential to solve many major issues include hunger in third world countries.