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 have 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 tomatoes
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.
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. Lycopenia, 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:
- Green Zebra
- Cherokee Purple
- Mortgage Lifter
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.
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.
This fantastic new garden tomato combines enormous, long 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.
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.
Beefsteak, Goldie, now 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 hand, tomatoes can cause allergic contact dermatitis.
- Acid Reflux/Heartburn
- Kidney Issues
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Excessive Sodium
- Urinary Issues
Hybrids of tomatoes
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 is 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 slightly dull color than red cultivars.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Beam: 2.6 grams
- Fibre: 1.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
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.
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 also 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 helps 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 to remove harmful free radicals. Cancer and other deadly diseases can be avoided as a result.