Red Tomato Turns Purple; Travels from Canada to UK for ‘Green Light’
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | January 25, 2014 6:00 PM EST
Tomatoes that have been turned Purple through genetic modification are on their way to the United Kingdom for testing.
Man says he wanted to buy tomatoes, not sex (wiki commons)
The first consignment of 1,200 liters of purple juice pressed from genetically modified tomato in Canada will be tested in Britain for their purported health benefits, which have been boasted ever since the idea was conceptualized.
The tomatoes that were primarily developed by scientists in the UK at the John Innes Centre and Sainbury Laboratory near Norwhich, are among the latest in the series of new general plants that aim to take GM into consumer applications, the Financial Times reports.
The pigment present in the modified tomato is known as anthocyanin, an antioxidant, which are said to be a cancer-fighting agent. Scientists say that the purple tomato could improve the nutritional value in every food where they are applied.
Scientists believe that the first delivery of the large quantity of the tomato juice will help investigators probe the real potential of the fruit.
"With these purble tomatoes you can get the same compounds that are present in blueberries and cranberries that give them their health benefits - but you can apply them to foods that people actually eat in significant amounts and are reasonably affordable," Prof Cathie Martin from the John Innes Centre told BBC News.
The scientists first engineered the tomato by transferring two "promoter" genes from what has been called "snapdragon plants". The antohcyanins genes in the fruit were activated where they are normally inactive, the FT report said.
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