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Information @ a Glance         

General

  • The tomato is native to Central, South, and southern North America from Mexico to Argentina.
  • 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 1025 cm long, odd pinnate, with 59 leaflets on petioles, each leaflet up to 8cm long, with a serrated margin; both the stem and leaves are densely glandular-hairy.
  •  The  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 America.

Process

  • 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.
  •  Tomatoes 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.

Market

  • 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.

Uses

  • Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other things.
  •  Lycopene, 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 blood pressure.
  • 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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