Importance of tomato and its benefits


Tomatoes are edible berries that grow on the tomato plant, Solanum lycopersicum. The species originated in Western South America and Central America.

By Hafsa Jannat, Dr. Fahd Rasul, Dr. Hassan Munir, Dr. Sobia Shahzad, Hafiza Iqra Almas, Iqra Naeem

Tomatoes are botanically categorized as fruits since they grow from a flower and contain seeds.  Still, they are widely used as a vegetable in cooking.

Tomatoes are an annual plant that are grown in the warm season and has an average optimum growing temperature of 25 ̊C to 29 ̊C. In Pakistan, its two harvests are typically grown in the spring and autumn seasons.

Health benefits of tomato

Tomatoes are the main source of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to a number of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. They are high in vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.

Lycopene

Tomatoes, as well as other red fruits and vegetables such as red carrots, watermelons, grapefruits and papayas contain lycopene, a brilliant red carotenoid hydrocarbon. It is not found in strawberries or cherries. Lycopene has no vitamin A action despite its chemical similarities to carotene.

Fresh tomatoes contain 0.88 to 7.74 milligrams of lycopene per 100 grams.

Processed tomatoes contain the maximum lycopene.

Side effects of lycopene

Low blood pressure, an increased risk of bleeding and gastrointestinal problems are all possible side effects. Lycopenaemia, a disorder in which the skin becomes orange after eating a lot of lycopene-rich meals.

As 70 percent of the overall tomato crop is harvested between December and June, prices fall as a result of the increased availability. However, because only 30% of the total yield is harvested between July and November, prices rise due to scarcity.

Production of tomatoes in Pakistan

 Tomatoes make up around 49% of the gross vegetable production in Pakistan. In 2020, Pakistan produced approximately 5.5 million tons of vegetables.

Pakistan is ranked 33rd in the world for tomato production. The global average yield is 35 tons per hectare, however the output in Pakistan is 9.90 tons per hectare resulting in a production gap of 25.1 tons per hectare. The predicted yield for three tomato clusters are 7.69 tons per hectare in Sindh, 9.78 tons per hectare in Baluchistan and 11.64 tons per hectare in KPK.

Types of tomatoes

Around 10,000 different types of tomatoes exist around the world, ranging from pink to purple, yellow to white and occasionally even black. Tomatoes that are striped or speckled are also available. Humans have been growing tomatoes for centuries.

The major types of tomatoes are:

  • Roma
  • Sungold
  • Green Zebra
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Brandywine
  • Mortgage Lifter
  • Currant
  • Cherry

Globe tomatoes are the most common tomatoes and they are enormous, round and red sometimes yellow. They are the medium-sized tomatoes that can be found in any supermarket. These tomatoes also known as slicing tomatoes are the perfect choice for sandwiches and salads.

Cherry tomatoes

A little round tomato, the cherry tomato is assumed to be a genetic mix between wild currant-type tomatoes and domesticated garden tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes can be as small as a tip of a thumb to as huge as a golf ball with a spherical to slightly oval shape.

Buffalo tomatoes

This fantastic new garden tomato combines enormous, lengthy harvests with tasty, deep red tomatoes in a classic beefsteak shape. The meaty, seedless tomatoes have a great silky texture and an old-fashioned tomato flavor.

Once flowers emerge on the terminals of the shoots, the determinate forms stop producing them.

Examples

Rutgers, Roma and Celebrity

Indeterminate tomato types produce blooms along the sides of the stalks, yet they continue to grow until the weather becomes unfavorable.

Examples

 Beefsteak, Goldie, most Cherry-types and heirloom tomatoes.

Preservation of tomatoes

Tomatoes can be frozen whole or blanched before freezing. Wash the tomatoes, score them and blanch them in boiling water to freeze them. Freeze the tomatoes on a cookie sheet for a few hours or until they are totally frozen. The tomatoes should be stored in freezer bags or airtight freezer containers.

Tomato ketchup is made from tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and spices. On the other hand, tomato sauce is made using tomatoes, oil, meat or vegetable stock and seasonings. It is not made with vinegar. In addition, ketchup is a cold condiment that is never served hot, whereas other sauces are served hot.

Hazardous effects of tomatoes for growing in waste water

When untreated wastewater is used to irrigate crops, dissolved heavy metals may have negative impacts on plant growth and pose health risks. Wastewater is a complex resource with both advantages and disadvantages. The main reasons for wastewater usage include a lack of alternative water supplies, the stability of wastewater supply, the nutrient value and proximity to urban markets. Too much water can cause root damage and fractures or splits in ripening fruits. Water scarcity can reduce harvests or cause issues like blossom end rot.

Tomatoes contain histamine, a chemical that can cause skin rashes or allergic reactions. As a result, if we have a tomato allergy, we may have swelling of the mouth, tongue and face as well as sneezing and throat infection. On the other side, tomatoes can cause allergic contact dermatitis.

  • Acid Reflux/Heartburn
  • Kidney Issues
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Sodium
  • Lycopenodermia
  • Urinary Issues

Hybrids of tomato

Plant breeders create hybrid tomatoes by crossing two different varieties of the same plant, resulting in an offspring or hybrid with the best traits of both parents. Cross-pollination between members of the same plant species is a natural phenomenon.

One of the main advantages of hybrid tomatoes over conventional tomato plants are improved disease resistance. Verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt are two prevalent fungal diseases that can affect tomato plants and several hybrid varieties have been produced to provide greater resistance to them.

Color based types of tomatoes

Red Tomato Varieties

Red tomatoes are the most prevalent tomatoes.  Better boy, Early girl and Beefsteak are some of the most well-known red tomato cultivars.

Pink Tomato Varieties  

These tomatoes have a little dull color than red cultivars.

 They include:  

  • Pink Brandywine
  • Caspian Pink
  • Thai Pink Egg

Orange tomato varieties

An orange tomato roots are frequently discovered in older tomato plant varieties. Orange tomatoes can be found in the following varieties:

  • Hawaiian Pineapple
  • Kellogg’s Breakfast  

 Green Tomato Varieties

We normally think of a green tomato as one that is not quite ready to eat. There are however, green-ripening tomatoes.

These include:

  • German Green Stripe
  • Green Moldovan
  • Green Zebra

 Purple Tomato Varieties or Black Tomato Varieties

Purple or black tomatoes, which ripen to a dark red color with purple tops or shoulders retain more chlorophyll than most other cultivars.

 Tomato plants available in a range of forms and sizes.

  • Cherokee Purple
  • Black Ethiopian
  • Paul Robeson

Purple or black tomatoes have a rich, strong and smoky flavor.

Nutritional facts

Tomatoes have a water content of about 95%. The remaining 5% of the diet is made up of carbohydrates and fibers.

Below is a list of the nutrients found in a small (100-gram) raw tomato.

  • Calories: 18
  • Water: 95%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams
  • Sugar: 2.6 grams
  • Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates make up 4% of raw tomatoes, resulting in a medium specimen with fewer than 5 grams of carbohydrates (123 grams).

Over 70% of the carbohydrate content is made up of simple carbohydrates like glucose and fructose.

Fibers

Tomatoes are a good source of fiber, providing roughly 1.5 grams in an average-sized tomato.

The majority of the fibers in tomatoes are insoluble fibers such as hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin (87 percent).

Vitamins and minerals

Tomatoes are high in the vitamins and minerals listed below:

  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. This vitamin serves as both a nutrient and an antioxidant. A medium tomato can provide around 28% of the Daily Reference Intake (RDI).
  • Potassium Potassium is an essential mineral that aids in blood pressure management and the prevention of heart disease.
  • Vitamin K1 Vitamin K (phylloquinone) is necessary for blood coagulation and bone health.
  • Folate is a nutrient that is found in vitamin B9. Folate is a B vitamin that is required for healthy tissue growth and cell function.

Benefits of skin of tomatoes

The skin of a tomato is strong in phytochemicals, which are good for our health. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which help the body for removing harmful free radicals. Cancer and other deadly diseases can be avoided as a result.



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