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Thread: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

  1. #1
    Victor Sack Guest

    Default Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds
    By GINA KOLATA
    International Herald Tribune

    Plant geneticists say they have discovered an answer to a near-universal
    question: Why are tomatoes usually so tasteless?

    Yes, they are often picked green and shipped long distances. Often they
    are refrigerated, which destroys their flavor and texture. But now
    researchers have discovered a genetic reason that diminishes a tomato's
    flavor even if the fruit is picked ripe and coddled.

    The unexpected culprit is a gene mutation that occurred by chance and
    that was discovered by tomato breeders. It was deliberately bred into
    almost all tomatoes because it conferred an advantage: It made them a
    uniform luscious scarlet when ripe.

    Now, in a paper published in the journal Science, researchers report
    that the very gene that was inactivated by that mutation plays an
    important role in producing the sugar and aromas that are the essence of
    a fragrant, flavorful tomato. And these findings provide a road map for
    plant breeders to make better-tasting, evenly red tomatoes.

    The discovery "is one piece of the puzzle about why the modern tomato
    stinks," said Harry Klee, a tomato researcher at the University of
    Florida in Gainesville who was not involved in the research. "That
    mutation has been introduced into almost all modern tomatoes. Now we can
    say that in trying to make the fruit prettier, they reduced some of the
    important compounds that are linked to flavor."

    The mutation's effect was a real surprise, said James J. Giovannoni of
    the United States Department of Agriculture Research Service, an author
    of the paper. He called the wide adoption of tomatoes that ripen
    uniformly "a story of unintended consequences."

    Breeders stumbled upon the variety about 70 years ago and saw commercial
    potential. Consumers like tomatoes that are red all over, but ripe
    tomatoes normally had a ring of green, yellow or white at the stem end.
    Producers of tomatoes used in tomato sauce or ketchup also benefited.
    Growers harvest this crop all at once, Dr. Giovannoni said, and "with
    the uniform ripening gene, it is easier to determine when the tomatoes
    are ripe."

    Then, about 10 years ago, Ann Powell, a plant biochemist at the
    University of California, Davis, happened on a puzzle that led to the
    new discovery. Dr. Powell, a lead author of the Science paper, was
    studying weed genes. Her colleagues had put those genes into tomato
    plants, which are, she said, the lab rats of the plant world. To Dr.
    Powell's surprise, tomatoes with the genes turned the dark green of a
    sweet pepper before they ripened, rather than the insipid pale green of
    most tomatoes today.

    "That got me thinking," Dr. Powell said. "Why do fruits bother being
    green in the first place?" The green is from chloroplasts,
    self-contained energy factories in plant cells, where photosynthesis
    takes place. The end result is sugar, which plants use for food. And,
    Dr. Powell said, the prevailing wisdom said sugar travels from a plant's
    leaves to its fruit. So chloroplasts in tomato fruit seemed
    inconsequential.

    Still, she said, the thought of dark green tomatoes "kind of bugged me."
    Why weren't the leaves dark green, too?

    About a year ago, she and her colleagues, including Dr. Giovannoni,
    decided to investigate. The weed genes, they found, replaced a disabled
    gene in a tomato's fruit but not in its leaves. With the weed genes, the
    tomatoes turned dark green.

    The reason the tomatoes had been light green was that they had the
    uniform ripening mutation, which set up a sort of chain reaction. The
    mutation not only made tomatoes turn uniformly green and then red, but
    also disabled genes involved in ripening. Among them are genes that
    allow the fruit to make some of its own sugar instead of getting it only
    from leaves. Others increase the amount of carotenoids, which give
    tomatoes a full red color and, it is thought, are involved in flavor.

    To test their discovery, the researchers used genetic engineering to
    turn on the disabled genes while leaving the uniform ripening trait
    alone. The fruit was evenly dark green and then red and had 20 percent
    more sugar and 20 to 30 percent more carotenoids when ripe.

    But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    experimental produce, no one tasted them.

    And, Dr. Giovannoni says, do not look for those genetically engineered
    tomatoes at the grocery store. Producers would not dare to make such a
    tomato for fear that consumers would reject it.

    But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.

  2. #2
    Helpful person Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Jun 29, 3:30*pm, azaze...@koroviev.de (Victor Sack) wrote:
    > * * * * Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds
    > * * * * * * * * * * * * By GINA KOLATA
    > * * * * * * * * International Herald Tribune
    >
    > Plant geneticists say they have discovered an answer to a near-universal
    > question: Why are tomatoes usually so tasteless?
    >
    > Yes, they are often picked green and shipped long distances. Often they
    > are refrigerated, which destroys their flavor and texture. But now
    > researchers have discovered a genetic reason that diminishes a tomato's
    > flavor even if the fruit is picked ripe and coddled.
    >
    > The unexpected culprit is a gene mutation that occurred by chance and
    > that was discovered by tomato breeders. It was deliberately bred into
    > almost all tomatoes because it conferred an advantage: It made them a
    > uniform luscious scarlet when ripe.
    >
    > Now, in a paper published in the journal Science, researchers report
    > that the very gene that was inactivated by that mutation plays an
    > important role in producing the sugar and aromas that are the essence of
    > a fragrant, flavorful tomato. And these findings provide a road map for
    > plant breeders to make better-tasting, evenly red tomatoes.
    >
    > The discovery "is one piece of the puzzle about why the modern tomato
    > stinks," said Harry Klee, a tomato researcher at the University of
    > Florida in Gainesville who was not involved in the research. "That
    > mutation has been introduced into almost all modern tomatoes. Now we can
    > say that in trying to make the fruit prettier, they reduced some of the
    > important compounds that are linked to flavor."
    >
    > The mutation's effect was a real surprise, said James J. Giovannoni of
    > the United States Department of Agriculture Research Service, an author
    > of the paper. He called the wide adoption of tomatoes that ripen
    > uniformly "a story of unintended consequences."
    >
    > Breeders stumbled upon the variety about 70 years ago and saw commercial
    > potential. Consumers like tomatoes that are red all over, but ripe
    > tomatoes normally had a ring of green, yellow or white at the stem end.
    > Producers of tomatoes used in tomato sauce or ketchup also benefited.
    > Growers harvest this crop all at once, Dr. Giovannoni said, and "with
    > the uniform ripening gene, it is easier to determine when the tomatoes
    > are ripe."
    >
    > Then, about 10 years ago, Ann Powell, a plant biochemist at the
    > University of California, Davis, happened on a puzzle that led to the
    > new discovery. Dr. Powell, a lead author of the Science paper, was
    > studying weed genes. Her colleagues had put those genes into tomato
    > plants, which are, she said, the lab rats of the plant world. To Dr.
    > Powell's surprise, tomatoes with the genes turned the dark green of a
    > sweet pepper before they ripened, rather than the insipid pale green of
    > most tomatoes today.
    >
    > "That got me thinking," Dr. Powell said. "Why do fruits bother being
    > green in the first place?" The green is from chloroplasts,
    > self-contained energy factories in plant cells, where photosynthesis
    > takes place. The end result is sugar, which plants use for food. And,
    > Dr. Powell said, the prevailing wisdom said sugar travels from a plant's
    > leaves to its fruit. So chloroplasts in tomato fruit seemed
    > inconsequential.
    >
    > Still, she said, the thought of dark green tomatoes "kind of bugged me."
    > Why weren't the leaves dark green, too?
    >
    > About a year ago, she and her colleagues, including Dr. Giovannoni,
    > decided to investigate. The weed genes, they found, replaced a disabled
    > gene in a tomato's fruit but not in its leaves. With the weed genes, the
    > tomatoes turned dark green.
    >
    > The reason the tomatoes had been light green was that they had the
    > uniform ripening mutation, which set up a sort of chain reaction. The
    > mutation not only made tomatoes turn uniformly green and then red, but
    > also disabled genes involved in ripening. Among them are genes that
    > allow the fruit to make some of its own sugar instead of getting it only
    > from leaves. Others increase the amount of carotenoids, which give
    > tomatoes a full red color and, it is thought, are involved in flavor.
    >
    > To test their discovery, the researchers used genetic engineering to
    > turn on the disabled genes while leaving the uniform ripening trait
    > alone. The fruit was evenly dark green and then red and had 20 percent
    > more sugar and 20 to 30 percent more carotenoids when ripe.
    >
    > But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    > Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    > experimental produce, no one tasted them.
    >
    > And, Dr. Giovannoni says, do not look for those genetically engineered
    > tomatoes at the grocery store. Producers would not dare to make such a
    > tomato for fear that consumers would reject it.
    >
    > But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    > and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    > idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.


    The above research is all very well except that the loss of flavor in
    tomatoes is largely due to the lower acid content of the modern
    fruits. Tomatoes from 40 years ago had an acidic tang to them which
    considerably added to the flavor.

    If one wants sweet tomatoes, try the yellow ones. They are lower in
    acid and higher in sugar.

    http://www.richardfisher.com

  3. #3
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    Victor Sack wrote:
    >
    > But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    > Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    > experimental produce, no one tasted them.


    That's crazy. If I was on the project,
    you can be sure at least one would get lost.

    "Are you sure there were twenty? I counted
    them twice and there were 19 both times."

  4. #4
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Jun 29, 3:30*pm, azaze...@koroviev.de (Victor Sack) wrote:

    > But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    > and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    > idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.



    The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    flavor.

    Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious. Always the better , no best,
    choice.

  5. #5
    John Kuthe Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Fri, 29 Jun 2012 19:11:19 -0800, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Victor Sack wrote:
    >>
    >> But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    >> Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    >> experimental produce, no one tasted them.

    >
    >That's crazy. If I was on the project,
    >you can be sure at least one would get lost.
    >
    >"Are you sure there were twenty? I counted
    >them twice and there were 19 both times."


    Well, theoretically no one tasted them

    And the difference between theory and practice is that in theory there
    is no difference. In practice there is! ;-)

    John Kuthe...

  6. #6
    Ross@home Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 00:30:44 +0200, [email protected] (Victor Sack)
    wrote:

    > Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds


    Snip

    >But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    >Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    >experimental produce, no one tasted them.


    After all that work, no one tasted a tomato? Not likely.

    >And, Dr. Giovannoni says, do not look for those genetically engineered
    >tomatoes at the grocery store. Producers would not dare to make such a
    >tomato for fear that consumers would reject it.
    >


    That's much more believeable.

    Ross.

  7. #7
    Pennyaline Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On 6/30/2012 8:05 AM, ImStillMags wrote:
    > On Jun 29, 3:30 pm, azaze...@koroviev.de (Victor Sack) wrote:
    >
    >> But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    >> and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    >> idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.

    >
    >
    > The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    > perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    > flavor.
    >
    > Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious. Always the better , no best,
    > choice.


    I love growing heirloom tomatoes not only because the flavor is superior
    but because people are so put off by the fruits' appearance. They figure
    that my plants are producing mutations, and I explain that, while this
    is in a round-about way not incorrect, the mutations happened long ago
    and that now if you plant the seeds from these heirlooms you'll get
    tomatoes that are exactly the same as the parent. If you plant the seeds
    from most other varieties of ravishing camera-ready tomatoes, you don't
    know what you'll get.




  8. #8
    George Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On 6/30/2012 12:39 PM, Pennyaline wrote:
    > On 6/30/2012 8:05 AM, ImStillMags wrote:
    >> On Jun 29, 3:30 pm, azaze...@koroviev.de (Victor Sack) wrote:
    >>
    >>> But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    >>> and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    >>> idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.

    >>
    >>
    >> The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    >> perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    >> flavor.
    >>
    >> Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious. Always the better , no best,
    >> choice.

    >
    > I love growing heirloom tomatoes not only because the flavor is superior
    > but because people are so put off by the fruits' appearance. They figure
    > that my plants are producing mutations, and I explain that, while this
    > is in a round-about way not incorrect, the mutations happened long ago
    > and that now if you plant the seeds from these heirlooms you'll get
    > tomatoes that are exactly the same as the parent. If you plant the seeds
    > from most other varieties of ravishing camera-ready tomatoes, you don't
    > know what you'll get.
    >
    >
    >


    About the only thing I grow are heirloom tomatoes. I don't even bother
    buying the tomato like objects from the market. I love how clueless
    people have become about looks vs taste.


  9. #9
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:52:45 -0400, George <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > About the only thing I grow are heirloom tomatoes. I don't even bother
    > buying the tomato like objects from the market. I love how clueless
    > people have become about looks vs taste.


    Nice that you can grow your own - nice also that you can pass judgment
    like that on those who don't/can't.

    --
    Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

  10. #10
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:52:45 -0400, George <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On 6/30/2012 12:39 PM, Pennyaline wrote:
    >> On 6/30/2012 8:05 AM, ImStillMags wrote:
    >>> On Jun 29, 3:30 pm, azaze...@koroviev.de (Victor Sack) wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    >>>> and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    >>>> idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    >>> perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    >>> flavor.
    >>>
    >>> Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious. Always the better , no best,
    >>> choice.

    >>
    >> I love growing heirloom tomatoes not only because the flavor is superior
    >> but because people are so put off by the fruits' appearance. They figure
    >> that my plants are producing mutations, and I explain that, while this
    >> is in a round-about way not incorrect, the mutations happened long ago
    >> and that now if you plant the seeds from these heirlooms you'll get
    >> tomatoes that are exactly the same as the parent. If you plant the seeds
    >> from most other varieties of ravishing camera-ready tomatoes, you don't
    >> know what you'll get.

    >
    >I love how clueless people have become about looks vs taste.


    George sucks the ugly peepees. LOL

  11. #11
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    Victor Sack wrote:
    > Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds
    > By GINA KOLATA
    > International Herald Tribune
    >
    > Plant geneticists say they have discovered an answer to a near-universal
    > question: Why are tomatoes usually so tasteless?
    >
    > Yes, they are often picked green and shipped long distances. Often they
    > are refrigerated, which destroys their flavor and texture. But now
    > researchers have discovered a genetic reason that diminishes a tomato's
    > flavor even if the fruit is picked ripe and coddled.
    >
    > The unexpected culprit is a gene mutation that occurred by chance and
    > that was discovered by tomato breeders. It was deliberately bred into
    > almost all tomatoes because it conferred an advantage: It made them a
    > uniform luscious scarlet when ripe.
    >
    > Now, in a paper published in the journal Science, researchers report
    > that the very gene that was inactivated by that mutation plays an
    > important role in producing the sugar and aromas that are the essence of
    > a fragrant, flavorful tomato. And these findings provide a road map for
    > plant breeders to make better-tasting, evenly red tomatoes.
    >
    > The discovery "is one piece of the puzzle about why the modern tomato
    > stinks," said Harry Klee, a tomato researcher at the University of
    > Florida in Gainesville who was not involved in the research. "That
    > mutation has been introduced into almost all modern tomatoes. Now we can
    > say that in trying to make the fruit prettier, they reduced some of the
    > important compounds that are linked to flavor."
    >
    > The mutation's effect was a real surprise, said James J. Giovannoni of
    > the United States Department of Agriculture Research Service, an author
    > of the paper. He called the wide adoption of tomatoes that ripen
    > uniformly "a story of unintended consequences."
    >
    > Breeders stumbled upon the variety about 70 years ago and saw commercial
    > potential. Consumers like tomatoes that are red all over, but ripe
    > tomatoes normally had a ring of green, yellow or white at the stem end.
    > Producers of tomatoes used in tomato sauce or ketchup also benefited.
    > Growers harvest this crop all at once, Dr. Giovannoni said, and "with
    > the uniform ripening gene, it is easier to determine when the tomatoes
    > are ripe."
    >
    > Then, about 10 years ago, Ann Powell, a plant biochemist at the
    > University of California, Davis, happened on a puzzle that led to the
    > new discovery. Dr. Powell, a lead author of the Science paper, was
    > studying weed genes. Her colleagues had put those genes into tomato
    > plants, which are, she said, the lab rats of the plant world. To Dr.
    > Powell's surprise, tomatoes with the genes turned the dark green of a
    > sweet pepper before they ripened, rather than the insipid pale green of
    > most tomatoes today.
    >
    > "That got me thinking," Dr. Powell said. "Why do fruits bother being
    > green in the first place?" The green is from chloroplasts,
    > self-contained energy factories in plant cells, where photosynthesis
    > takes place. The end result is sugar, which plants use for food. And,
    > Dr. Powell said, the prevailing wisdom said sugar travels from a plant's
    > leaves to its fruit. So chloroplasts in tomato fruit seemed
    > inconsequential.
    >
    > Still, she said, the thought of dark green tomatoes "kind of bugged me."
    > Why weren't the leaves dark green, too?
    >
    > About a year ago, she and her colleagues, including Dr. Giovannoni,
    > decided to investigate. The weed genes, they found, replaced a disabled
    > gene in a tomato's fruit but not in its leaves. With the weed genes, the
    > tomatoes turned dark green.
    >
    > The reason the tomatoes had been light green was that they had the
    > uniform ripening mutation, which set up a sort of chain reaction. The
    > mutation not only made tomatoes turn uniformly green and then red, but
    > also disabled genes involved in ripening. Among them are genes that
    > allow the fruit to make some of its own sugar instead of getting it only
    > from leaves. Others increase the amount of carotenoids, which give
    > tomatoes a full red color and, it is thought, are involved in flavor.
    >
    > To test their discovery, the researchers used genetic engineering to
    > turn on the disabled genes while leaving the uniform ripening trait
    > alone. The fruit was evenly dark green and then red and had 20 percent
    > more sugar and 20 to 30 percent more carotenoids when ripe.
    >
    > But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    > Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    > experimental produce, no one tasted them.
    >
    > And, Dr. Giovannoni says, do not look for those genetically engineered
    > tomatoes at the grocery store. Producers would not dare to make such a
    > tomato for fear that consumers would reject it.
    >
    > But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    > and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    > idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.


    Interesting--and no wonder I like heirloom varieties--and
    especially the green (when ripe) tomatoes.

    --
    Jean B.

  12. #12
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    Helpful person wrote:
    > On Jun 29, 3:30 pm, azaze...@koroviev.de (Victor Sack) wrote:
    >> Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds
    >> By GINA KOLATA
    >> International Herald Tribune
    >>
    >> Plant geneticists say they have discovered an answer to a near-universal
    >> question: Why are tomatoes usually so tasteless?
    >>
    >> Yes, they are often picked green and shipped long distances. Often they
    >> are refrigerated, which destroys their flavor and texture. But now
    >> researchers have discovered a genetic reason that diminishes a tomato's
    >> flavor even if the fruit is picked ripe and coddled.
    >>
    >> The unexpected culprit is a gene mutation that occurred by chance and
    >> that was discovered by tomato breeders. It was deliberately bred into
    >> almost all tomatoes because it conferred an advantage: It made them a
    >> uniform luscious scarlet when ripe.
    >>
    >> Now, in a paper published in the journal Science, researchers report
    >> that the very gene that was inactivated by that mutation plays an
    >> important role in producing the sugar and aromas that are the essence of
    >> a fragrant, flavorful tomato. And these findings provide a road map for
    >> plant breeders to make better-tasting, evenly red tomatoes.
    >>
    >> The discovery "is one piece of the puzzle about why the modern tomato
    >> stinks," said Harry Klee, a tomato researcher at the University of
    >> Florida in Gainesville who was not involved in the research. "That
    >> mutation has been introduced into almost all modern tomatoes. Now we can
    >> say that in trying to make the fruit prettier, they reduced some of the
    >> important compounds that are linked to flavor."
    >>
    >> The mutation's effect was a real surprise, said James J. Giovannoni of
    >> the United States Department of Agriculture Research Service, an author
    >> of the paper. He called the wide adoption of tomatoes that ripen
    >> uniformly "a story of unintended consequences."
    >>
    >> Breeders stumbled upon the variety about 70 years ago and saw commercial
    >> potential. Consumers like tomatoes that are red all over, but ripe
    >> tomatoes normally had a ring of green, yellow or white at the stem end.
    >> Producers of tomatoes used in tomato sauce or ketchup also benefited.
    >> Growers harvest this crop all at once, Dr. Giovannoni said, and "with
    >> the uniform ripening gene, it is easier to determine when the tomatoes
    >> are ripe."
    >>
    >> Then, about 10 years ago, Ann Powell, a plant biochemist at the
    >> University of California, Davis, happened on a puzzle that led to the
    >> new discovery. Dr. Powell, a lead author of the Science paper, was
    >> studying weed genes. Her colleagues had put those genes into tomato
    >> plants, which are, she said, the lab rats of the plant world. To Dr.
    >> Powell's surprise, tomatoes with the genes turned the dark green of a
    >> sweet pepper before they ripened, rather than the insipid pale green of
    >> most tomatoes today.
    >>
    >> "That got me thinking," Dr. Powell said. "Why do fruits bother being
    >> green in the first place?" The green is from chloroplasts,
    >> self-contained energy factories in plant cells, where photosynthesis
    >> takes place. The end result is sugar, which plants use for food. And,
    >> Dr. Powell said, the prevailing wisdom said sugar travels from a plant's
    >> leaves to its fruit. So chloroplasts in tomato fruit seemed
    >> inconsequential.
    >>
    >> Still, she said, the thought of dark green tomatoes "kind of bugged me."
    >> Why weren't the leaves dark green, too?
    >>
    >> About a year ago, she and her colleagues, including Dr. Giovannoni,
    >> decided to investigate. The weed genes, they found, replaced a disabled
    >> gene in a tomato's fruit but not in its leaves. With the weed genes, the
    >> tomatoes turned dark green.
    >>
    >> The reason the tomatoes had been light green was that they had the
    >> uniform ripening mutation, which set up a sort of chain reaction. The
    >> mutation not only made tomatoes turn uniformly green and then red, but
    >> also disabled genes involved in ripening. Among them are genes that
    >> allow the fruit to make some of its own sugar instead of getting it only
    >> from leaves. Others increase the amount of carotenoids, which give
    >> tomatoes a full red color and, it is thought, are involved in flavor.
    >>
    >> To test their discovery, the researchers used genetic engineering to
    >> turn on the disabled genes while leaving the uniform ripening trait
    >> alone. The fruit was evenly dark green and then red and had 20 percent
    >> more sugar and 20 to 30 percent more carotenoids when ripe.
    >>
    >> But were the genetically engineered tomatoes more flavorful? Because
    >> Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the consumption of
    >> experimental produce, no one tasted them.
    >>
    >> And, Dr. Giovannoni says, do not look for those genetically engineered
    >> tomatoes at the grocery store. Producers would not dare to make such a
    >> tomato for fear that consumers would reject it.
    >>
    >> But, Dr. Powell said, there is a way around the issue. Heirloom tomatoes
    >> and many wild species do not have the uniform ripening mutation. "The
    >> idea is to get the vegetable seed industry interested," Dr. Powell said.

    >
    > The above research is all very well except that the loss of flavor in
    > tomatoes is largely due to the lower acid content of the modern
    > fruits. Tomatoes from 40 years ago had an acidic tang to them which
    > considerably added to the flavor.
    >
    > If one wants sweet tomatoes, try the yellow ones. They are lower in
    > acid and higher in sugar.



    The lack of acid is exactly why I like the green tomatoes--like
    green zebra. Some years ago, I got and rated all of the plethora
    of heirloom tomatoes that I could find locally. I do hope I can
    find my notes--and that I didn't just annotate my printout.

    --
    Jean B.

  13. #13
    George Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On 6/30/2012 5:37 PM, sf wrote:
    > On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:52:45 -0400, George <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> About the only thing I grow are heirloom tomatoes. I don't even bother
    >> buying the tomato like objects from the market. I love how clueless
    >> people have become about looks vs taste.

    >
    > Nice that you can grow your own - nice also that you can pass judgment
    > like that on those who don't/can't.
    >


    Nice that you can jump to conclusions. Since apparently you have never
    grown anything you wouldn't understand how I was agreeing with
    Pennylines statement.


  14. #14
    David Harmon Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 07:05:41 -0700 (PDT) in rec.food.cooking,
    ImStillMags <[email protected]> wrote,
    >
    >The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    >perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    >flavor.
    >
    >Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious.


    I thought you said that looks mean nothing about flavor.

  15. #15
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Sun, 01 Jul 2012 08:02:18 -0400, George <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > On 6/30/2012 5:37 PM, sf wrote:
    > > On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:52:45 -0400, George <[email protected]>
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > >> About the only thing I grow are heirloom tomatoes. I don't even bother
    > >> buying the tomato like objects from the market. I love how clueless
    > >> people have become about looks vs taste.

    > >
    > > Nice that you can grow your own - nice also that you can pass judgment
    > > like that on those who don't/can't.
    > >

    >
    > Nice that you can jump to conclusions. Since apparently you have never
    > grown anything you wouldn't understand how I was agreeing with
    > Pennylines statement.


    And you're passing judgment again.

    --
    Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

  16. #16
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On Sun, 01 Jul 2012 10:23:03 -0700, David Harmon <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 07:05:41 -0700 (PDT) in rec.food.cooking,
    > ImStillMags <[email protected]> wrote,
    > >
    > >The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    > >perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    > >flavor.
    > >
    > >Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious.

    >
    > I thought you said that looks mean nothing about flavor.


    What I don't understand is why people here insist that Heirloom
    tomatoes are ugly.

    --
    Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

  17. #17
    George Guest

    Default Re: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes

    On 7/2/2012 1:38 PM, sf wrote:
    > On Sun, 01 Jul 2012 10:23:03 -0700, David Harmon <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> On Sat, 30 Jun 2012 07:05:41 -0700 (PDT) in rec.food.cooking,
    >> ImStillMags <[email protected]> wrote,
    >>>
    >>> The public is the victim of their own prejudices. People who want a
    >>> perfect LOOKING tomato have no idea that looks mean nothing about
    >>> flavor.
    >>>
    >>> Heirloom tomatoes, ugly and delicious.

    >>
    >> I thought you said that looks mean nothing about flavor.

    >
    > What I don't understand is why people here insist that Heirloom
    > tomatoes are ugly.
    >


    Because they are accurately reporting the unknowing comments they get
    from people who turn their noses up at a tomato that isn't perfectly
    shaped, colored and flavorless just like they find in the big box mart.

    We have an apple tree that produces really tasty cooking apples that are
    always misshapen and weirdly colored. One time I gave some to someone
    and later heard the report that they were "ugly" and what could they
    possibly do with them.


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