UF scientists identify what makes tomatoes tasty

3:11 PM, May 25, 2012   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Florida (AP) - University of Florida scientists say they've unlocked the chemical secrets of why some tomatoes taste good and others don't.

The researchers, led by horticultural science professor Harry Klee, said on Thursday that their findings could result in better tasting commercial tomatoes, a $431 million annual crop in Florida.

To make their discovery, they determined the chemical components of nearly 100 tomato varieties.

They included old varieties known as heirloom tomatoes that are prized for their taste but not bred for large-scale production, as well as flavor-challenged commercial tomatoes

The levels of various chemicals in each variety then were determined. Then taste tests were conducted by 13 panels of 100 people each.

The results showed some chemicals previously thought to be important to good taste were not and vice-versa.

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