The Quest to Return Tomatoes to Their Full-Flavored Glory

Via Vlasdislav Gudovskiy / Alamy

Via Vlasdislav Gudovskiy / Alamy

 

Scientists are trying to rid the world of bland tomatoes…

Today’s fruit simply doesn’t pack the flavor of the old-fashioned tomato, finds a new genome study published today in the journal Science. “Genomic technologies, like the ones the authors used in this research, really enable us to study what happened to the tomato in a very effective way,” says Esther van der Knaap, a plant geneticist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the new study. “What did we leave behind, and what are we carrying through?”

Comparing the genetic fingerprints of each fruit with taster reviews and preferences revealed dozens of chemical compounds, and the corresponding genes behind them, that tasters heavily associated with flavor—many of which have been lost over centuries of breeding.

Read on at Smithsonian.

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