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What Do Tomatoes Taste Like? Flavor Study Finally Recreates The Taste of Real Tomatoes

Feb 09, 2017 11:47 AM EST

Scientists have unveiled the genetic recipe for making tomatoes taste like actual tomatoes again.

It can be remembered that there are certain qualities from tomatoes that were lost through time, with consumers complaining that tomatoes available in the market tasted bland. 

A team of scientists has come up with a solution to revamp the flavor of real tomatoes by mapping the fruit's entire genome. This involves mapping out the genomes of every variety of tomato available as well as identifying their genetic traits.

Scientists have just mapped the entire genome of hundreds of varieties of tomatoes and identified the genetic traits that make them delicious. This means Tomato breeders can use this map to create tomatoes that have the original, rich flavor that many commercial varieties lack.

According to a report from The Verge, tomato breeders have been focused on quality rather than quantity. Yield, disease resistance and firmness have been put into importance while putting flavor on the sidelines. 

The new map, which contains around 398 tomato varieties, will prove useful to breeders in order to retain the tomatoes' original flavor even to those sold in grocery stores.

The study, published in the journal Science, involved conducting a test survey among consumers. Using 160 tomato samples (ranging from cherry to heirloom tomatoes), the researchers asked the participants which of the samples they favored the most, determining which tomato variant was mostly associated with a specific taste and aroma.

The researchers also analyzed various qualities such as the sugars, acids and aroma compounds.

The tomato plays an important role in the history of genetically modified crops. It was the transgenic produce to be made available in the market in 1994 (called Flavr Savr tomato), but was eventually pulled off the shelves.

Meanwhile, a previous study also said that storing tomatoes in the fridge drains the flavor from it,  Gizmodo notes.

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