The fridge didn’t spoil the taste of the tomatoes

Contrary to popular view, the flavor of tomatoes does not deteriorate due to storage in the refrigerator — to such conclusion came the German team. Their work, published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, for the first time takes into account the whole cycle of transportation of vegetables from garden beds.

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are among the most popular vegetables. However, among consumers there is no consensus about how best to store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Many people believe that low temperatures negatively affect the taste of the tomatoes. This burning issue has long attracted the attention of scientists, but their research results still remain controversial.

The team under the leadership of Kanski Larissa (Larissa Kanski) from göttingen University decided to evaluate how the storage conditions affect the taste five varieties of tomatoes. Unlike previous works on this subject, the scientists took into account all stages of transportation of vegetables from the garden to the table.

After harvest fully ripe vegetables during the day kept at a temperature of twelve degrees Celsius, and then another two days with a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius. These stages imitated the storage provider and store, respectively. Then half of the tomatoes left at a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius, and the other half was placed in a refrigerator with a temperature of seven degrees Celsius.

Four days later a specially trained expert-tasters were asked to rate the taste of tomatoes stored under different conditions. In addition, the researchers analyzed the concentration of chemical compounds that affect the taste and aroma of the fruit.

It turned out that the main differences in the parameters related to genetic variability of different varieties. Thus the significant difference between the taste of vegetables stored at low and room temperatures, have been identified. Thus, the popular idea that in the refrigerator the flavour of tomatoes is getting worse, was wrong.

Thanks to the technology of gene editing, scientists have the opportunity to create entirely new varieties of plants with unusual flavors. Often subjected to such manipulation and tomatoes. For example, there is a project on creation of varieties of tomatoes with a sharp taste. Another team used gene editing to re-domesticate wild tomatoes.

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