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Scientists create super long-life tomatoes

04 February 2010 [19:25] - TODAY.AZ
Scientist in India claim to have created a super tomato that will stay fresh a month after normal ones would have rotted away.
Researchers genetically modified the natural ripening process of the vegetable, extending its shelf life by 30 days.

It could be a massive boost for farmers, who can lose almost half their harvests through fruit going off before they can get it to the shops.

India, the world's second-largest tomato grower, loses 35-40% of its produce this way.

Scientists there targeted two enzymes involved in ripening tomatoes.

By slowing down the effects they say they have extended their shelf life massively.

Dr Asis Datta, of the National Institute of Plant Genome Research in New Delhi, said: "Our strategy allows the achievement of desired texture and firmness and enhancement of shelf life without any ill-effects.

"This strategy can be extended to other fruit crops."

His team believe the technique they developed can also be used on fruits like bananas and mangoes, which can also go off very quickly.

/Sky News/

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