Purple tomatoes may soon be arriving to a supermarket near you.
Intended to pack as much nutritional punch as blueberries and cranberries, genetically modified purple tomatoes are about to be put to the test. )
The crop, grown in Canada, has been harvested and juiced. The first 12 hundred liters of liquid is ready to be shipped to their creator’s lab in Norwich, UK to see if they’re really everything the engineers had hoped for.
The goal is to make a tomato that can help fight illness and boost the nutritional values of foods like pizza and ketchup.
Their power comes from a natural pigment called anthocyanin, an antioxidant that has tested favorably in fighting cancer in animals.
The genes used to activate anthocyanin development in the tomato plant came from the snapdragon plant.
In addition to making foods healthier, part of the goal of the project is to change people’s perceptions about genetically modified foods.
If everything goes as planned, the GM juice could be on the shelves of North American grocers in as little as two years.
There will be challenges along the way. For example, the developer opted to grow them in Canada due to the EU’s restrictions on genetically modified produce.