Vrinda Jagota
July 29, 2016 4:21 pm
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From combination grape-apples, to malaria fighting mosquitos, scientists are able to modify, enhance, and alter nearly anything, creating hybrid plants and animals that are beautiful, fantastical, and sometimes just more practical. One such example is a recently-developed strain of tomatoes that are mush-resistant.

The Wall Street Journal reports that scientists are able to tweak the DNA of tomatoes to reduce the effects of pectate lyase, the enzyme responsible for deteriorating cell walls and causing tomatoes to transform from delicious to unappetizingly squishy. The newly-developed versions will maintain their firmness for up to two weeks, giving you plenty of time to make those salads and sandwiches without fear of inedible (or at least just kinda yucky) tomatoes!

What’s more, the study shows that the changes will not affect tomatoes’ size or color and could help maintain their flavor for longer. This is great news considering the amount of food wasted in The United States simply because it doesn’t look appealing enough.

The new tomatoes do not come without their fair share of problems, however. There is much debate over the health and environmental impact of genetically modified organisms. In fact, they are not allowed to be consumed in the U.K., where these tomatoes were developed, so it’s hard for researchers to say what the taste — arguably the most important element — of the new strain is. And, the process of regulating the plants will be expensive, and may not therefore be affordable or feasible. Instead, it could be the case that this research will be applied to other more accepted scientific processes, like cross-breeding.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, we love the idea of more refreshing tomato dishes this summer!

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