Green Tomatoes

Keith Downing Mueller kdmuelle at unity.ncsu.edu
Tue Oct 10 23:42:03 EST 1995


Ray Warner (rwarner at cix.compulink.co.uk) wrote:
: Can anyone tell me just how poisonous green tomatoes are, or is it just a 
: myth? Regards Ray Warner

Tomatine is a steroidal glycoalkaloid which is found in all tomato genotypes.
Young developing fruits acculmulate tomatine, but as ripening begins, 
alkaloid degregation occurs and tomatine concentration decreases. 

When one eats a ripe tomato, there is always a small amount of tomatine 
present. The younger the fruit, the more tomatine ingested. So one 
actually increases their risk by consuming green tomatoes. However, one 
would probably have to ingest a considerable amount.I'm not sure if cooking 
does degrade the tomatine.

The LD50 value (Lethal Dose for 50% death) is 0.5 g per kg of body weight.
Or a 170 pound man would have to consume enough green tomatoes to 
accumulate 36 g (~1.2oz.) of tomatine. That would be alot of of green 
tomatoes. 

--
Keith Mueller



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