Quirks & Quarks

Make tomatoes great again!

Scientists have figured out the exact components that give a tomato its unmistakable flavour.
Scientists have found the genetic path to restoring flavour to tomatoes. (David Besa )

Ripe, fleshy, fragrant, tomatoes. You can find them at farmer's markets, or in your own garden. But most of the tomatoes found in grocery stores are the opposite -- more pink than red, and without much of an aroma. 

Dr. Harry Klee and a team of researchers think they can restore what's been lost. They've isolated the specific aromatic compounds that give tomatoes their unmistakable scent and flavour. 

They've also sequenced the genome of over 400 different varieties of tomatoes. According to Klee, they now have the capacity to produce a flavourful tomato that is also firm, disease-resistant and has a long shelf life. And it can be done through traditional breeding. 

Scientists can make tomatoes great again!

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