American grower Sunripe has launched a new proprietary brand of crimson tomatoes that can reduce the risks of heart disease and some cancers, according to researchers and dieticians.
According to horticulturist Jay Scott from the University of Florida, a crimson tomato is 50 percent higher in lycopene – an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red colour – than a regular tomato. And according to clinical dietitian Mary Branagan from the same university, “lycopene in tomatoes is beneficial in reducing risks of heart disease and some cancers.” High-lycopene tomatoes “also have antioxidant properties,” she added.
In 2014 tomatoes health benefits gained widespread coverage in British press with reports that a ‘tomato pill’ could help prevent heart disease; and research suggests that high levels of lycopene in the Mediterranean diet – which includes lots of tomatoes – may be partly responsible for the lower incidence of cardiovascular disease in certain countries.
Bred in line with the firm’s non-GMO growing practices, Oh So Rosso tomatoes ripen with a deep red colour, both inside and out, and “offers a sun-kissed, fresh flavour”, according to Sunripe.
This makes the variety perfect for recipes in which tomatoes are the main ingredient, such as Caprese salad and fresh salsa, the grower says.
“Tomato lovers everywhere can be assured in Sunripe Certified Brands’ commitment to offer the highest quality and most sustainable products in the market,” said Jon Esformes, president and CEO of Sunripe Certified Brands.
“Our commitment to flavor, food safety, and social responsibility allows us to deliver tomatoes that not only taste great, but that our consumers can feel good about eating.”
Sunripe is also bringing back its Bella Roma tomatoes this year after a successful first season. Harvesting begins in mid-November, and this year’s crop will include the addition of the brand’s proprietary varieties, including Oh So Rosso, which have been expanded in order to meet the needs of foodservice and retail partners for sizing and flavour.
The producer’s green and mature green tomatoes are also expected to be in good supply throughout the autumn and winter months.