Indigo Rose Tomatoes Contain An Antioxidant That Fights Diabetes, Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases
by JOHN SUMMERLY
Not only do dark tomatoes turn heads, but they are also healthier than normal red varieties, according to plant scientists. Indigo Rose Tomatoes were cultivated by breeding red and purple tomato plants, and are being heralded as a new superfood with potent antioxidants.
Scientists bred purple tomatoes containing anthocyanin, an antioxidant said to help fight several diseases, with normal red varieties.
The new breed was the brainchild of Professor Jim Myers at the University of Oregon in the US and came about after a graduate student was interested in looking at health benefits in tomatoes.
The new variety is a novelty type intended for home gardens and the fresh market, and it is now available in seed catalogs, said Myers.
“It is the first improved tomato variety in the world that has anthocyanins in its fruit,” he said. The tomato itself is actually a botanical berry.
Myers’ team found some tomatoes with purple pigmentation and tests revealed that anthocyanins were providing the colour, the same as blueberries. They crossed the purple tomatoes with some wild tomatoes and eventually came up with a black strain.
Breeding for the antioxidant potential of the purple anthocyanins in the fruit was the most important goal for OSU breeders. “It will lead to a better understanding on how the antioxidants express in tomatoes and may contribute to human health,” Myers said.
During the growth process it starts out green like all tomatoes and when the sun hits the fruit it turns black rather than red.
“If you want a really, really purple tomato that can be as black as an eggplant, give Indigo Rose a try,” Myers said. “Other so-called purple and black tomatoes have the green flesh gene, which prevents normal chlorophyll breakdown. A brown pigment called pheophytin accumulates and has a brownish color that makes a muddy purple when combined with carotenoids.”
Anthocyanins are in the class of flavonoids — ….read more: http://preventdisease.com/news/14/091514_Indigo-Rose-Tomatoes-Contain-Antioxidant-Fights-Diabetes-Cancer-Neurodegenerative-Diseases.shtml
source: Prevent Disease