Refrigerating tomatoes causes genetic changes that reduce flavor

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The tomato hitching a ride home in your grocery bag today is not the tomato it used to be. …[I]f you wanted the tastiest tomato, you should have picked it yourself and eaten it immediately.

That’s because a tomato’s flavor — made up of sugars, acids and chemicals called volatiles — degrades as soon as it’s picked from the vine. There’s only one thing you can do now: Keep it out of the fridge.

Researchers at The University of Florida have found in a study published [Oct. 17] in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that when tomatoes are stored at the temperature kept in most refrigerators, irreversible genetic changes take place that erase some of their flavors forever.

Harry J. Klee, a professor of horticultural sciences … and his colleagues took two varieties of tomatoes … and stored them at 41 degrees Fahrenheit before letting them recover at room temperature (68 degrees Fahrenheit)… After they were allowed to warm up, even for a day, some genes in the tomatoes that created its flavor volatiles had turned off and stayed off.

. . . .

When you can get fresh tomatoes, Dr. Klee recommends storing them at room temperature… and eating them within a week of bringing them home…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: In Refrigerators, Tomatoes Lose Flavor at the Genetic Level