Purple Tomatoes Could Land at Your Supermarket Next Year

By Ghuman


The future of grocery shopping could be about to get a lot more colorful. Scientists have developed a new type of tomato that is not only purple, but also packed with antioxidants and other health benefits. If all goes according to plan, these purple tomatoes could land in your local supermarket as early as next year. This new variety of tomato is the result of years of research and development, and could revolutionize the way we think about produce. Read on to learn more about this exciting new development.

Purple Tomatoes Could Land at Your Supermarket Next Year

A new variety of purple tomatoes could be hitting supermarket shelves as early as next year. The tomatoes, which are a cross between two wild species, have been developed by scientists at the University of Florida.

The new variety, called Indigo Rose, is the result of a decade-long effort to create a tomato that is both nutritious and visually appealing. The tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect against cancer and other diseases.

The tomatoes are also high in lycopene, a pigment that gives them their deep purple color. Lycopene is thought to be beneficial for heart health and may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

The tomatoes have been tested in several countries, including the United States, and have been found to be safe for consumption. They are expected to be available in supermarkets in the United States and Europe in the near future.

The new variety of tomatoes is just one example of how scientists are using genetic engineering to create healthier and more visually appealing foods. In the future, we may see even more varieties of fruits and vegetables that have been genetically modified to provide us with more nutrition and better taste.

Between cotton candy grapes and tropical punch-flavored strawberries, several unique fruit varieties are lining the supermarket shelves. But this recent novelty may be the funkiest one of them all.

In a recent press release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it has approved a genetically modified purple tomato that was developed by a team of scientists at Norfolk Plant Sciences, a Norwich, England-based research institute.

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According to the USDA, the purple tomatoes “may be safely grown and used for breeding in the United States” and are “unlikely to pose an increased plant pest risk compared to other cultivated tomatoes.”

But don’t let appearances fool you because these tomatoes pack a nutritious punch, too. Aside from their vibrant purple color, the fruits were engineered to to be high in nutrients, specifically, anthocyanins, which are antioxidant-rich pigments that give blueberries and blackberries their deep hues.

norfolk plant sciences purple tomato
Courtesy of Norfolk Plant Sciences

The USDA’s recent approval marks the end of a nearly 15-year wait for biochemist Cathie Martin, a professor at the University of East Anglia and project leader at the John Innes Centre, who first introduced the anthocyanin-rich purple tomato in 2008. To create the fruit, Martin—who has been working with pigment production in plants for more than 20 years—used a genetic “on switch” from snapdragon plants—and saw promising results.

Not only did she and her colleagues find that cancer-prone mice that ate the purple tomatoes lived about 30% longer than those that ate normal tomatoes, but they later discovered that purple tomatoes had double the shelf life of red tomatoes.

On track to widespread distribution, the purple tomato is predicted to launch in the U.S. in 2023, according to Nathan Pumplin, the CEO of Norfolk Plant Sciences’ U.S.-based commercial business.

“This is fantastic, I never thought I would see this day,” Martin said in a statement. “We are now one step closer to my dream of sharing healthy purple tomatoes with the many people excited to eat them.”

We certainly can’t wait to try them!

Brianna Ruback

Brianna is the Editorial Assistant at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna