Tomato

The tomato is a nightshade plant and belongs to the fruit vegetables.  It originated in Ecuador and Peru and was brought to Europe in the 16th century.

The tomato is available in different shapes and sizes in the market. Consuming green, unripe tomatoes is not recommended, because they contain the alkaloid solanine.   The tomato’s ripening process degrades solanine then lycopene and beta-carotene are formed.  These two substances are mainly responsible for the red colouring in tomatoes. In contrast to most vitamins and phytochemicals, lycopene is not sensitive to heat. In fact, lycopene only becomes really valuable to our bodies when it is heated.  That’s why tomatoes regularly consumed cooked should be enjoyed as a sauce or soup.  Tomatoes should not be kept in the refrigerator since the flavour is lost in cold storage.

Season: From June to September

Nutritional Value: Tomato – Swiss food composition database

 

Did you know...?

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene.

1 portion a day corresponds to:

A large tomato