Scientists: We Can Make a Store-Bought Tomato Tastier

It's about time, science
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2015 2:46 PM CDT

Researchers for the US Department of Agriculture believe they've found an inexpensive way to make store-bought tomatoes taste better (other than slapping them between mozzarella and basil, of course). Quartz reports tomatoes from the supermarket are typically flavor-lite because they are transported from the farm in cold temperatures—generally 55 degrees, max—that suppress enzymes necessary for producing aroma and flavor.

This process changes all that: Researchers put fresh-picked but "green" tomatoes into 125-degree water for five minutes then let them cool to room temp prior to chilling. Doing so produced more of those enzymes and made the tomatoes better tasting by the time they were fully ripe, according to EurekAlert. As a researcher puts it, "Hot water-treated fruit actually produced higher concentrations of these important aroma contributors, even with subsequent chilling." The findings were presented to the American Chemical Society Wednesday. (How about a plant that grows ketchup and fries?)

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