Composition of Tomato Fruit - Tomato Fruits On The Plant
Tomato Fruits On The Plant - Credits: Αcetpharma

Tomato - A. Composition of Tomato Fruit & Quality Characteristics

In the USA, the tomato is called ‘the poor man’s orange‘ because of its low price and high concentrations of vitamin C, as well as citric and malic acid.

In many areas of the South they could call orange as ‘the poor man’s tomato‘ because of their sometimes unjustified or justifiably high price.

But either in the South or in the North, the nutritional value of tomatoes is recognized as significant. The last few years have been flourishing the research about the medicinal uses of its fruit.

Starting from the composition of the tomato fruit and its qualitie characteristics will be attempted in a series of articles presenting these aspects of tomato, others that rank fruit and others in vegetables, but all agree that it is called tomato.

Except for a member of the editorial team. This member believes, after excessive alcohol consumption, that there is no agreement about the name. His disagreement is recorded and he is delivered to the lions.

Tomato – A. Composition of Tomato Fruit & Quality Characteristics

Composition of Tomato Fruit - Standard Type Tomatoes on the Plant
Standard Type Tomatoes on the Plant

Defining Quality Characteristics

The quality characteristics of tomato fruits are determined mainly by color, texture and flavor. These characteristics are directly related to both the variety and the method of cultivation as well as the conditions under which it is carried out.

For example, the composition of tomato fruit of the same variety will differ with respect to the quality characteristics depending on whether it is cultivated on or off the ground.

However, the high quality of tomato is mainly related to the redness of the color and the intensity of the taste. The taste and color of the tomato, on the other hand, are determined by the sugar content of the fruit. Research has shown that when the sugar content of tomato is at its peak then the skin of the fruit gets the strongest and most intense red color due to the dominance of the pigment called lycopene.

Tomato – A. Composition of Tomato Fruit & Quality Characteristics

Composition of Tomato Fruit - Standard Type of Tomatoes in Outdoor Cultivation
Standard Type of Tomatoes in Outdoor Cultivation
Composition of Tomato Fruit - Standard Type Tomatoes
Standard Type Tomatoes

Composition of Tomato Fruit - Sugars & Carbohydrates

One of the above mentioned about sugars is to start presenting the ingredients that are of importance to the composition of tomato fruit from them.

Free sugars account for more than 60% of the solid ingredients in tomatoes. They are mainly represented by D-glucose and D-fructose as well as by sucrose, although sucrose has a minimal contribution (0.5-1.5%).

The content of the remaining carbohydrates is very little starch, dextrin (0.06-0.2%), hemicellulose (0.1-0.2%) as well as cellulose (0.16-0.31%).

Specifically for starch, it should be noted that the content of the tomato fruit in it depends on the variety, cultivar, and ripening conditions.

In general, starch in tomato ranges from 1-1.22% to immature fruits reaching up to 0.1-0.15% in red-ripe fruit.

Tomato – A. Composition of Tomato Fruit & Quality Characteristics

Composition of Tomato Fruit - Standard Type Tomatoes
Standard Type Tomatoes in Different Ripening Stages
Composition of Tomato Fruit - Standard Type Greenhouse Tomatoes
Standard Type Greenhouse Tomatoes

Composition of Tomato Fruit - Pectins, Ascorbic Acid & Vitamins

The percentage of pectin involvement affects and co-shapes the texture of the tomato fruit. Thus, the tomato has a satisfactory texture only when pectase, pectin and calcium are present in sufficient amounts. Pectin averages 3.9% of the dry substance of the tomato fruit.

Tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamins. Vitamin C is detected at a rate ranging from 2 to 50%. On the basis of the fresh weight, the tomato content of vitamin C is on average about 25 mg / 100 g.

However, the values of ascorbic acid show this range because its presence varies according to the variety of cultivated tomato. From the point of view of physiological processes, studies have shown that tomato varieties ripening at a faster rate contain higher amounts of vitamin C than those whose ripening is relatively slow.

In addition to vitamin C, tomato contains large amounts of carotene, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9), vitamin H as well as inositol.

The relationship between the vitamins contained in the tomato fruit and the lions has not yet been adequately researched. Perhaps Bob Marley with ‘Iron Lion Zion’ has something to say about it.

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