- The tomato is
native to Central, South, and southern North America from Mexico to
- It is a perennial,
often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual, typically
reaching to 1-3m (3 to 10 ft) in height, with a weak, woody stem that
often vines over other plants.
- The leaves are
10–25 cm long, odd pinnate, with 5–9 leaflets on petioles, each leaflet
up to 8cm long, with a serrated margin; both the stem and leaves are
tomato is an herbaceous & the word tomato derives from a word in the
Nahuatl language, tomatl.
- The specific
name, lycopersicum, means "wolf-peach" (compare the related species
Solanum lycocarpum, whose scientific name means "wolf-fruit", common
name "wolf-apple"), as they are a major food of wild canids in South
- Tomatoes are often
picked unripe (and thus green) and ripened in storage with ethylene.
- Ethylene is
a hydrocarbon gas produced by many fruits that acts as the molecular cue
to begin the ripening process.
ripened in this way tend to keep longer but have poorer flavor and a
mealier, starchier texture than tomatoes ripened on the plant.
- They may be
recognized by their color, which is more pink or orange than the other
ripe tomatoes' deep red.
- The demand for
tomatoes is increasing over time, much of the volatility in tomato
prices comes from changes in supply.
- A bumper
crop or crop disaster in a major production region can change tomato
prices quickly, According to USDA's weekly report on tomato.
- Once tomatoes
leave the farm, many of them are shipped to a wholesale market somewhere
in the United States.
- USDA collects
daily price information from 15 wholesale markets.
- Tomato producers
in the Mid-South strive to harvest tomatoes after the early crops in
Florida and parts of Mexico have been harvested and before the later
crops in California and western Mexico get into full production.
- Tomatoes are now
eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to
benefit the heart among other things.
one of nature's most powerful antioxidants, is present in tomatoes, and,
especially when tomatoes are cooked, has been found beneficial in
preventing prostate cancer.
- Tomato extract
branded as Lycomato is now also being promoted for treatment of high
- Tomatoes are used
extensively in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, with Italian
being the most notable.
- The tomato has an
acidic property that is used to bring out other flavors, This same
acidity makes tomatoes especially easy to preserve in home canning as
tomato sauce or paste.
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