Ever felt that the tomatoes you bought in a supermarket were lacking in taste? Like they were good, but not good enough?
Tomatoes sold in supermarkets can apparently be made to taste better by dunking them in hot water before they ripen. We’re listening.
The discovery could result in tomatoes bought from stores being as flavorsome as those straight off the vine.
Yep. We’d be pretty happy about that too. Because vine tomatoes are a serious luxury.
Typically tomatoes destined for supermarkets are picked while still green and coaxed to ripen while they are stored and transported at low temperatures.
The problem is that chilling degrades their flavour, making supermarket tomatoes relatively tasteless compared with those sold on farms.
Step on up the scientists from the US Department of Agriculture. They found that a simple treatment process can dramatically boost the flavour of transported tomatoes.
Dr Jinhe Bai said: “Ideally, tomatoes should be picked ripe and then sold immediately, as they are at farm stands.
“To produce a better tasting tomato, we added a hot water pre-treatment step to the usual protocol that growers follow. We found that this pre-treatment step prevents flavour loss due to chilling.”
In the tests, Florida-grown green tomatoes were dipped in water heated to about 51.6C /124.8F five minutes and allowed to cool at room temperature.
Only then were the fruit chilled to the temperatures normally used for shipping.