Biotech Updates

GM Purple Tomato Better Tasting, Lasts Longer

May 29, 2013

It is now possible to make tomatoes -- the world's most popular fruit -- better tasting and longer lasting, according to a research conducted by the John Innes Centre (JIC). Led by JIC Professor Cathie Martin, the researchers studied tomatoes enriched in anthocyanin, a natural pigment that confers high levels of antioxidants. Professor Martin's research team found out that purple genetically modified (GM) tomatoes have twice the normal shelf life of average tomatoes from 21 to 48 days, and that the anthocyanins slowed down the over-ripening process that lead to rotting and softening, producing fruits with fuller flavor and longer shelf life. The purple tomatoes were also less susceptible to grey mold, a serious postharvest disease of tomato.

Professor Martin said, "Our research has identified a new target for breeders to produce tomato varieties that are fuller in flavor, and so more appealing to consumers, and more valuable commercially due to increased shelf life." The results of their study could also be applied to other soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries.

More details available at the JIC website: