Purple vegetables aren’t exactly new. There’s purple potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and even tomatoes. Actually, nevermind — tomatoes are a fruit.
Anyway, after nearly 20 years of development, the USDA approved UK-based Norfolk Plant Sciences’ purple tomato for commercial use — significant for its potential health benefits.
What’s so special about this tomato?
The team used genes from the snapdragon flower to produce anthocyanin, an antioxidant-rich pigment also found in blackberries that may lower the risk of cancer.
- In a 2008 study, cancer-susceptible mice that were fed high-anthocyanin tomatoes lived 30% longer than those that were fed red tomatoes.
The team now plans to develop and sell purple cherry tomatoes, tomato juice, sun-dried tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and the seeds themselves.
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