Taste of fruits & vegetables

Thomas Bjorkman Thomas_Bjorkman at cornell.edu
Tue Jul 26 12:52:26 EST 1994

In article <311dc9$p8n at rebecca.albany.edu>, tivol at tethys.ph.albany.edu
> Although the Flavr-Savr (R) underwent nutritional analysis, did 
> other, non-engineered tomatoes get compared to home-garden varieties?  There
> is the less-acid phenomenon in recent supermarket varieties to explain.

First, here is the reference to the book containing all the legal
documents, etc for the FlavrSavr: Redenbaugh, et al.  1992 Safety
Assessment of genetically engineered fruits and vegetables: A case study of
Flavr Savr tomato. CRC Press Boca Raton.

I don't know of any nutritional analyses comparing commercial and
home-garden varieties.  It has probably been done.  My suspicion is that
the nutritional value differs far more with ripeness than with variety. 
(As a physiologist, I tend to have that prejudice.)  Complex molecules that
confer flavor and nutrition are produced during softening, so there is good
reaosn to expect it.  There have been varieties bred for higher vitamin
content; orange toned tomatoes tend to be higher in Vitamin A.  A colleague
of mine, Dr. Dick Robinson bred such a tomato but felt that the
high-vitamin trait met with indifference in the marketplace.  Even Sunny is
probably nutritious enough if it gets ripe.  

Ther are low-acid tomatoes on the market.  I think that they are supposed
to taste sweeter, but I find that they just taste less.  My solution is to
let a standard variety get ripe enough that the sweetness balances the
higher acid. That is what FlavrSavr is _supposed_ to do.  We shall see.
Thomas Bjorkman    Dept. of Horticultural Sciences   Cornell University

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