2004. Additional varieties with different fruit size and flavor as well as differences in flesh color will follow. June 23). We don’t know whether this is due to the presence of anthocyanins or other changes in chemical composition of the fruit. 86:1987-1988. A class of compounds generally called anthocyanin. (Question # 5), Lucier G, Lin B-H, Allshouse J, and Kantor LS. With one exception, all of the “black” and “purple” varieties that we have examined in our field trials have the green flesh gene, which prevents normal chlorophyll breakdown, resulting in a brown compound called pheophytin. The single commercially available cultivar that has pigmentation similar to the material that we have developed is ‘Purple Smudge’. Purple and Black Tomatoes. The toxic material in railroad ties is creosote, a mixture of coal tar derivatives that is used as a preservative. Scientists suspect any benefits of anthocyanins in food are not caused directly by their antioxidant capacity, but in a more complex manner. So far, however, this ability has been shown only in a test tube, not from food as it is digested. 10 Flavorful Tomatoes for Small Spaces Picking this new tomato variety certainly does require a shift in perception. (Question # 3), Waterhouse AL 2006. In our tomato lines many different kinds of phenolics and flavonoids are up regulated along with the anthocyanins. I used old railroad ties to make a 5-by-9 foot garden box that measures 17 inches tall. The new variety is a novelty type intended for home gardens and the fresh market, and it is now available in seed catalogs, said Jim Myers, a professor in the OSU horticulture department. However, wherever it's exposed to sunlight, the skin turns purple. The fruit darkens soon after forming, so it's difficult to know when it's at its peak. Another clue is that the bottom of the fruit, which often remains green, since sunlight doesn't reach it, will turn red. Sci. I filled it with 1.4 cubic yards of high-grade nursery blend soil and planted vegetables few weeks ago. What about heirloom varieties such as ‘Black Prince’ and ‘Purple Cherokee’? As Oregon State University Emeritus Professor Ron Wrolstad writes on his web page, “There is considerable anecdotal and epidemiological evidence that dietary anthocyanin pigments and polyphenolics may have preventive and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases. Orange tomatoes have beta-carotene or prolycopene, while yellow ones may have other carotenoids such as delta-carotene. A muddy brownish purple color is produced when the brown of the pheophytin blends with the pink or red of the carotenoids (the normal pigment found in tomato fruit). Her Q&A column, "Golden Gate Gardener," appears in the San Francisco Chronicle, and her website, pampeirce.com, links to the columns online as well as to her blog. Dwarf Tomato Project. Q: Just read your article about toxic planter boxes ("Could old wooden boxes be toxic?" There is experimental evidence that certain anthocyanins and flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties, and there are reports that orally administered anthocyanins are beneficial for treating diabetes and ulcers and may have antiviral and antimicrobial activities. Picking this new tomato variety certainly does require a shift in perception. They are ripe when their color changes from a shiny blue-purple to a dull purple-brown. By crossing extremely high anthocyanin lines to tomato cultivars known for their good taste, we have recovered individual plants that produce tomatoes with moderate amounts of anthocyanin and acceptable flavor. We have evidence to suggest that at least one of the genes involved is a regulatory gene that interacts with several biosynthetic pathways; so, it is possible that multiple changes in the chemical composition of the tomato have taken place, possibly in order to accommodate the increased anthocyanin production. 2003. A: 'Indigo Rose' was released in 2012 as the first truly purple tomato, one with skin as dark as an eggplant. Americans consume an average of 12.5 mg anthocyanin per day (blueberries have 1-3 mg/gram fresh weight, purple tomatoes have 0.1-0.3 mg/gram FWfresh weight, so a person would have to eat about 10 purple cherry tomatoes for an ‘average’ anthocyanin serving). No, it is mainly restricted to the skin and outer flesh. The biochemical composition of the tomatoes that we have developed is fundamentally different. 25 October 2006 (updated April 2009). A: In the column you mentioned, I discussed the likelihood that some "found" boxes might contain a toxic material.
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