The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Tuesday 29th June 2021, 10:22 London

Top Seeds rolls out Tomachoc range

Seed company launches line of chocolate-coloured tomatoes with an umami flavour

Top Seeds rolls out Tomachoc range

The Tomachoc Plum choc tomato, derived from the Cordobesa variety

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Top Seeds International has introduced a new tomato range, Tomachoc, consisting of five categories of chocolate-coloured tomatoes.

The global seed company noted that the tomatoes feature "an elegant, balanced flavour, ranging from tart to sweet, with a signature hint of umami".

According to Top Seeds, Tomachoc is the result of the crossing and hybridisation of ancient black tomato varieties originating from the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, which were spread abroad in the 19th century by Ukrainian soldiers carrying their seeds.

Chocolate tomatoes are known for their unique sensory characteristics, the group pointed out, and boast a high content of anthocyanins, a higher average content of vitamin C than other tomato varieties and potassium, which has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, and a high Brix level.

Top Seeds' Tomachoc range includes the Plum choc tomato, derived from the Cordobesa variety and described as perfect for salads with a pronounced umami taste and a 5/6 degree Brix; the Mini-plum choc tomato, which features an elongated oval shape, but has a miniature calibre of 30-35 grams depending on the variety; and the Snack choc tomato, intended as a snack due to its 18-20 gram calibre featuring a rich, bright dark colour.

The range is completed by two round tomatoes – the Round choc tomato and the Cherry choc.

In Italy, Tomachoc tomatoes are grown in Sicily and Lazio. Top Seeds said that favourable weather this winter resulted in a high-quality harvest for the whole range, and a good reception in target markets – primarily in Italy, but also in Northern Europe and, increasingly, in the Middle East.

“There has been a lot of commercial interest in the Tomachoc variety,” commented Fabrizio Iurato, product developer and sales representative at TSI Italia, a commercial subsidiary of Top Seeds International.

“On the one hand, the attractive appearance often impresses young retailers who want to offer their customers an original product, people who care about healthy nutrition and new products on the market," Iurato explained. "On the other hand, the medium crunchiness of the Tomachoc range allows for a longer shelf-life, which is important for the retail sector because it reduces waste.”

In Spain, the products are sold by the main cooperatives that specialise in flavoured tomatoes, which, in addition to their experience, have very strict planning that guarantees high quality.

“To obtain fruit with outstanding sensory characteristics and an excellent flavour, distinguished by their crunchiness and high Brix level, great attention must be paid to water conductivity, as well as temperature and humidity fluctuations,” outlined Victor Romero, sales specialist at Top Seeds Iberica.

Top Seeds said that Tomachoc had received a lot of attention from international markets, due to both extensive marketing activities and also as a result of its participation in the last edition of the Global Tomato Congress.

“Our team was on hand all day to answer visitors’ numerous questions [at the event]," said Ofir Elasar, sales and marketing vice-president at Top Seeds International. "We are very satisfied, especially in view of the global challenges of the pandemic."

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