Biotech Updates

Asia Sets its Sight on High Beta Carotene Tomatoes

February 9, 2007

Tomato is an integral part of Asian and African cuisines. Only a few dishes are not without tomatoes. Because of its fame as a source of beta-carotene and lycopene, the World Vegetable Center has designed a new variety of tomato to contain three to five times more beta-carotene than regular red tomatoes. With the recent release of high beta-carotene cherry tomatoes in Taiwan, the World Vegetable Center has secured a steady supply of Vitamin A especially in deficient areas in Asia and Africa. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the scourges of the developing world, and about 25 million have become blind from preventable diseases due to lack of Vitamin A in the diet.

Aside from its nutritional and health benefits, the high beta-carotene tomato hybrid has also shown high resistance to Gemini virus and tomato mosaic virus, two of the most destructive viruses that affect tomato crops. The Center is also developing heat tolerant, disease resistant varieties that can be grown during the wetter, warmer periods without catching widespread microbial diseases.

Read the news release at