Science Into Practice - Studying the health benefits of UK tomatoes

The health benefits of tomatoes are well known due to their wide range of nutrients.

Fresh tomato consumption in the UK is relatively low compared with other countries, but there is potential for increasing the consumption of fresh, flavoursome and nutritious products.

Highly flavoured products and those with a distinct aroma, such as the speciality tomato types the British industry has adopted over the past 10 years, may also have high nutrient levels, for reasons such as their high dry-matter content and deep colour.

Many are also smaller fruited types and the combination of these factors makes them relatively more attractive to children and therefore of particular interest and relevance in children's diets.

The aim of HDC project PE 009 is to update information on the range of nutrients found in UK-marketed fresh tomato fruit and imported long shelf-life fruit, to provide information for producers, health professionals, retailers and consumers on these bioactives. These data can be used to potentially optimise nutrient levels.

This project will allow growers to identify and explore the market potential of tomato products of high nutritional value, optimise the nutrient content of existing products and, it is anticipated, promote the superior qualities of UK-grown fruit compared with imports, especially those with enhanced shelf life.

The project will commence in February 2012. More detail is available on the HDC website at

Date for your diary

BOF Panel Meeting, Spalding, 10 January 2012.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

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