Clips, Food

New Breed of “Leak-Proof” Tomatoes Hits Shelves

Digital Journal, April 29, 2009.

Tomatoes are perhaps the most ubiquitous of veggies. Most sandwiches and salads can’t do without them. Yet, packing them in between slices of bread imparts to them a sogginess.

So, a group of Dutch scientists has created a new breed of what are known as “intense” tomatoes—the world’s first “leak-proof” variety that promises to revolutionize the world of subs and grinders.

Developed by Nunhems, the Haelen, a Netherlands-based agro-seed specialist, these tomatoes are oval like Roma tomatoes, but their highly dense structures minimizes water loss during slicing. They also have a longer shelf-life and retain their shapes when exposed to heat.

Drawing a comparison between an ordinary tomato and its new avatar, The Guardian writes:

Apparently 8 percent of a tomato’s weight is lost after slicing and 12 percent seeps into the bread an hour later, while, their non-leak version loses less than 1 percent of the moisture, with just 3 percent seeping into the bread 12 hours later.

The new product underwent a taste test at the paper’s cafeteria and the verdict of its food writer Susan Smillie is that the “new tomato seems to live up to its non-sogginess claims. [The] said tomato is surprisingly juicier than I expected.”

Though initially developed for the food processing industry, it went on sale amid a lot of fanfare at the U.K. food retailer chain Tesco on April 27. A pack of four carries a price tag of $1.45. But the cost saves the consumer the trouble of a messy kitchen, its makers claim.

The “intense” is not yet available in the U.S., but the company hopes to broaden its geographical horizon to the American market in the near future.


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