Kathryn Fontenot, Singh, Raghuwinder, Strahan, Ronald E., Brown, Sebe, Morgan, Alan L., Koske, Thomas J., Sexton, Mary, Lewis Ivey, Melanie, Sidhu, Jaspreet, Overstreet, Charles
The tomato is one of the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens. It requires little space when staked and can produce 5 or more pounds of fruit per plant. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and potassium. Lycopene is a particular carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant. The medical community believes lycopene combined with a healthy diet and exercise may prevent several types of cancer. Tomatoes are very popular in cuisines around the world. They can be consumed raw, grilled, cooked into sauces and baked in many dishes.
The flavor of a tomato is influenced by several factors, including time of harvest, air temperature and rainfall and soil type. However, the most influential factor is the ratio of sugar to acid. All tomatoes are acidic but some are termed “low acid.” Low acid tomatoes are still acidic but have higher amounts of sugar in them as compared to “acidic” tomatoes.
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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture