Saturday, 25 January 2014

Purple as a tomato.

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for quite a number of years now, and they range from grapes to types of meat. And we all consume them (mostly) quite happily as the modification is done to make the food a better quality or to make fruit look a certain way or store for longer. However not much genetic modification has been done to the colour of foods. Is it because we will be put off eating food which is a different colour to what is expected? Or is it because we will be unable to recognise what it actually is?

Tomatoes are red, well you thought they were red but the John Innes Centre in Norwich have developed tomatoes which are purple. They are purple as they contain a gene from another plant (a snap-dragon) within their genome. It is this gene which activates a process which allows the tomato to start developing anthocyanin, which gives it the purple colour.

It is thought that the darker pigment will go to give these tomatoes the same health benefit as blueberries as they are an antioxidant and are believed to fight cancer. Currently theses super purple tomatoes are being grown in Ontario, and the first shipment of purple tomato juice is bound for Norway.

Would you munch one of these GM tomatoes?


  1. Looking at the pictures of them, they look pretty exciting, if absolutely nothing like a tomato! Not sure if I'm entirely convinced of the health benefits but would definitely try one, and am interested to watch their progress! :)

  2. Katie, I don't really like tomatoes, but I too would like to try one.