Note: All the facts and pictures in this page are either taken from books, journals,websites-Wikipedia. The content write up is owned by Delicious Bhojanam. These facts are just to make people aware about food and their facts.

Facts and types of EDIBLE SALTS on our planet 

The word SALT is a magical word for humans. Without this ingredient its hard for for any kind of meal to complete. It's pretty hard to find out as to when the edible salts were discovered. But, it is understood that from the moment it was found by man kind it is one of the need of his food.
It's said that without salt a food is considered as waste. Even today one can start avoiding sugar from their dietery pattern but, aint salt. May be a reduction in consumption but, completely avoiding it.
Do you know that it is said 1gram of salt per kilogram of weight to die in China during the medival period as the salt was expensive during those days. Around 260 tonnes of salt is produced every year.


1. TABLE SALT - It is made from underground deposits. They are mined or evaporated from sea water. It is refined and the unwanted minerals are removed except Iodine. It is mostly used for day to day cooking, baking. Few edible chemicals are used to make it free flowing.

2. KOSHER SALT - This kind of salt has larger grains and has a crunch in it. It dissolves slowly. There are no Iodine found in the salt. It was found by Jews. Table salt and Kosher salt doesn't have much of difference in them. They absorb mositure faster.

3. SEA SALT - Its other name is otherwise called as Natural salt. Its eavaporated from seawater. Its structure is irregular in nature. There are many colours of seasalt. They are moslty used for a salad tossing or a main course food.

4. ROCK SALT - They are mined from underground deposits. From lake beds, bays etc.. They come in lumps. They have less minerals in them when compared to a sea salt. They are mainly used in chat items and on scrambled eggs.


5. BAMBOO SALT - It was found in Korea. They use it for various medicative activities such as skin car, hair care, anti cancer/anti virus.. They have 70% essential minerals in them. These salts are roasted in bamboo cylinders plugged with local mud on to them. The salt melts when the bamboo burns. Absorbs mineralsfrom the mud. The Indian version you cna experience in Assam region. It has calcium, zinc, magnesium in them.

6. INFUSED SALT - Infused salt means the flavours of herbs are infused in common salt. Herbs like rosemary, dil, parsley, thyme are dry roasted with the salt and them cooled down & stored in a bottle.
Even Vanilla, chocolate, chillies, ginger, coffee, are used for making exoctic infused salts. Its a new trend in most of the leading restaurants.



Origin of Chillies - 7000 B.C.
Used in Mexico. Chillies were grown and cultivated from 3500 BC. Mexicans used it to spice up their food. Chilli was brought to the rest of the world by Christopher Columbus who discovered America in 1493. Christopher not only mistook America for India, but also mistook chilli as the black pepper.
That is how the chilli got the name ‘Chile Pepper.’ He took chile pepper back to Spain where it became a very famous spice.
Chilli spread to rest of the European countries. Chilli became the indispensable spice in European cuisines. Chilli became popular in Portuguese. In 1498, the Portuguese explorer Vasco-da-Gama reached Indian shores bringing with him the pungent spice.

Chilli seeds were brought to North America for cultivation. In 1888, experiments began for cross breeding of chilli plants. New breeds of chilli plants were evolved. In 1906, a new variety of chilli, Anaheim, was grown. Soon, more chilli varieties were evolved such as strong breed of Mexican chile.

There are more than 400 different varieties of chillies found all over the world.

Naga Jolokia

The Mexican chilli Red Savina Habanero was considered as hottest chilli with 557,000 Scoville units. The hottest chilli on earth is found in India. The world’s hottest chilli “Naga Jolokia” is cultivated in hilly terrain of Assam in a small town Tezpur, India. The Naga Jolokia or also called "Tezpur Chilli" has been proved by the scientists are the hottest chilli in the world with 8,55,000 Scoville units.

Birdseye or Dhani Chillies

Birdseye is also called as African Devil Chile. Birdseye chilli is tiny, green and when matured the color changes to bright red. The pungency varies from the place and environmental condition is receives. It is widely available in African countries like Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Malawi and also in other countries including India, China, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea .

Byadagi or Kaddi Chillies

Byadagi chillies are grown in Goa and Dharwar in Karnataka. These chillies are also called Kaddi chillies and when dried, the skin is wrinkled red in color with aromatic mild pungency. The harvesting season of these chillies are from January to May.

Ellachipur Sanman Chillies
Ellachipur Sannam chillies are found in Amravati district, Maharashtra . The ellachipur chillies are dark red in color when in dry state with very hot pungency. The best time to grow is from September to December.

Guntur Sanman ChilliesGuntur Sanman Chillies are cultivated in Guntur , Warangal , Khamman district of Andra Pradesh. The Guntur chillies are long with thick red skin with very high pungency. The best times to harvest these chillies are from December to May.

Hindpur Chillies

Hindpur chillies are found in Andhra Pradesh in India . These chillies are extremely pungent and red in color. The harvesting season for these chillies is from December to March.

Jwala Chillies The most popular form of chilli in India , Jwala, is long, slender with when unripe has green color and turns to red in ripe stage. Jwala means "Volcano" in Hindi and are extremely pungent. Jwala is found in Kheda and Mehsana in Gujarat . 
Kanthari Chillies

The Kanthari chillies are grown in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They are small, ivory white in color. They are extremely pungent.

 Kashmiri Mirch

One of much in demand chilli in India is Kashmiri Mirch. Though there is lot of wrong claims, the true Kashmir Mirch is grown in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir . It has smooth shinning skin and fleshy with dark red in color. They are mild in pungency and have a fruit like flavor.

Mundu Chillies or Gundu Molzuka

Mundu chillies are found in Tamil Nadu and Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh. They are roundish fruit with moderately pungent with yellowish red color. Mundu is popularly called as 'Gundu Molzuka' meaning 'fat chilli' in Tamil Nadu.

Nalcheti Chillies

Nalcheti chillies are grown in Nagpur , Maharashtra . The Nalcheti chillies are long, red in color when dried with high pungency.

Tomato Chilli or Warangal Chappatta

Tomato chillies are found in Warangal , Khamman, and Godavari district of Andra Pradesh. These chllies are short, dark red in color when dried with moderate pungency.

Scoville scale is used to determine the pungency of the chilli. The Scoville Organoleptic Test was invented by a pharmacist, Wilbur L. Scoville, in 1912 while working in Parke Davis Pharmaceutical Company. Since that time, this method of measuring the pungent property of chilli is now used widely across the world as it was found to be systematic in approach.
The ratio of dilution is considered as Scoville Unit. For example, the bell pepper has zero in the scale of Scoville scale. Given below are some of the examples for varieties of chillies :
  • Pure Capsaicin----------    16,000,000
  • Naga Jolokia --------------  855,000
  • Red Savina Habanero-----580,000
  • Red Habanero ------------- 150,000
  • Tabasco --------------------   120,000
  • Tepin------------------------    75,000
  • Chiltepin --------------------  70,000
  • Thai Hot --------------------- 60,000
  • Jalapeno M ----------------- 25,000
  • Aji Escabeche--------------- 17,000
  • Cayenne ----------------------8,500
  • Pasilla ------------------------  5,500
  • Serrano------------------------ 4,000
  • Mulato -------------------------1,000
  • Bell Pepper-------------------- 0
Chilli became extremely popular in India after it was first brought to India by Vasco-da-Gama.
Chilli found its way in ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system.

According to ayurveda, chilli has many medicinal properties such as stimulating good digestion and endorphins, a natural pain killer to relieve pains.

Today, it is unimaginable to think of India cuisine without the hot spice, chilli.
India has become world’s largest producer and exporter of chilli, exporting to USA, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and many countries across the world. It contributes 25% of world’s total production of chilli.
Some of the hottest chillies are grown in India. Indian chillies have been dominating international chilli market. Majority of chilli grown in India is cultivated in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Orissa.

Few facts on our darling POTATO

Originated -
Southern PERU  8000BC to 5000BC and then  moved on by sailors to Europe in 18th century.
During 19th century it moved towards Africa. Where the industrilaisation of poatoes means, poato chips and other by products were started. Then it moved on to Asia & US.

In 2008, several international organizations highlighted the potato's role in world food production, in the face of developing economic problems. They cited its potential derived from its status as a cheap and plentiful crop that grows in a wide variety of climates and locales.Due to perishability, only about 5% of the world's potato crop is traded internationally; its minimal presence in world financial markets contributed to its stable pricing during the 2007-2008 world food price crisis. Thus, the UN officially declared 2008 as the International Year of the Potato to raise its profile in developing nations, calling the crop a "hidden treasure".

nutritiondata.com gives the following:
NutrientWithout skin (156 g) (% RDA)With skin (173 g) (% RDA)
Vitamin C3328
Vitamin B62327
Pantothenic Acid97
Dietary Fiber915

The cooking method used can significantly impact the nutrient availability of the potato.
Potatoes are often broadly classified as high on the glycemic index (GI) and so are often excluded from the diets of individuals trying to follow a low -GI diet. In fact, the GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on type (such as red, russet, white, or Prince Edward), origin (where it was grown), preparation methods (i.e., cooking method, whether it is eaten hot or cold, whether it is mashed or cubed or consumed whole, etc.), and with what it is consumed (i.e., the addition of various high-fat or high-protein toppings).
Potatoes are not considered by the  NHS as counting towards the five portions of fruit and vegetable diet.


Early Rose variety seed tuber with sprouts
Potatoes contain toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. Solanine is also found in other plants in the family Solanaceae, which includes such plants as the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and tobacco (Nicotiana) as well as the potato, eggplant, and tomato. This toxin affects the nervous system, causing weakness and confusion.
These compounds, which protect the plant from its predators, are, in general, concentrated in its leaves, stems, sprouts, and fruits. Exposure to light, physical damage, and age increase glycoalkaloid content within the tuber; the highest concentrations occur just underneath the skin.
Cooking at high temperatures (over 170 °C or 340 °F) partly destroys these.
The concentration of glycoalkaloid in wild potatoes suffices to produce toxic effects in humans. Glycoalkaloids may cause headaches,diarrhea,cramps and in severe cases   coma death; however, poisoning from potatoes occurs very rarely.
 Light exposure causes greening from chlorophyll synthesis, thus giving a visual clue as to areas of the tuber that may have become more toxic; however, this does not provide a definitive guide, as greening and glycoalkaloid accumulation can occur independently of each other.
Some varieties of potato contain greater glycoalkaloid concentrations than others; breeders developing new varieties test for this, and sometimes have to discard an otherwise promising cultivar.

Blue varieties

Two dark-skinned potatoes on a white plate. A further potato is cut into sections to show the variety's purple-blue flesh, placed at lower-right on the plate.
Potato variety "Blue Swede"
The blue potato originated in South America. It has purple skin and flesh, which becomes blue once cooked. It has a slight whitish scab that seems to be present in all samples. The variety, called "Cream of the Crop", has been introduced into Ireland and has proved popular.
A mutation in the varieties'
P locus causes production of the antioxidant anthocyanin.


  • Potatoes are used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, potcheen, or akvavit.
  • They are also used as food for domestic animals.
  • Potato starch is used in the food industry as, for example, thickeners and binders of soups and sauces, in the textile industry, as adhesives, and for the manufacturing of papers and boards.
  • Maine companies are exploring the possibilities of using waste potatoes to obtain polylactic acid for use in plastic products; other research projects seek ways to use the starch as a base for biodegradable packaging.
List of Potato Museum
Belgium Musée vivant de la Pomme de Terre in

Canada -

The PEI Potato Museum in O'Leary, Prince Edward Island claims to contain the world's largest collection of potato artifacts.It is also home to a Potato Hall of Fame.


  • Danmarks kartoffelmuseum ("Danish Potato Museum") in Otterup


  • Deutsches Kartoffelmuseum ("German Potato Museum") in Fußgönheim
  • Das Kartoffel-Museum ("The Potato Museum") in Munich
  • Vorpommersches Kartoffelmuseum ("Potato Museum of Vorpommern") in Tribsees

United States

  • Potato Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho
More facts to learn. keep checking the blog.

Page is all about food and their unknown facts.
Facts which common person may not or have not thought about it.

Tomato may refer to both the plant (Solanum lycopersicum) and the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates. There are around 7500 tomato varieties grown for various purposes.
The tomato fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.
The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. The plants typically grow to 1–3 metres (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual.

The tomato is native to South America. Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru. One species, Solanum lycopersicum, was transported to Mexico, where it was grown and consumed by Mesoamerican civilizations. The exact date of domestication is not known. The first domesticated tomato may have been a little yellow fruit, similar in size to a cherry tomato, grown by the Aztecs of Central Mexico. The word "tomato" comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl, literally "the swelling fruit”
Spanish explorer  Cortes may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochtítlan, now Mexico City, in 1521, although  Christopher Columbus, a Genoese working for the Spanish monarchy, may have taken them back as early as 1493. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who named it pomo d’oro, or "golden apple”.
Aztecs and other peoples in the region used the fruit in their cooking; it was cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas by 500 BC. The Pueblp people are thought to have believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination. The large, lumpy tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica, and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes.
Spanish distribution
After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, from where it spread to southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 17th century in Spain. The earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources.
In certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, however, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration before it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century.
Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s. One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon. Gerard's Herbal, published in 1597, and largely plagiarized from continental sources, is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew the tomato was eaten in Spain and Ital Nonetheless, he believed it was poisonous (in fact, the plant and raw fruit do have low levels of tom tine, but are not generally dangerous). Gerard's views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating (though not necessarily poisonous) for many years in Britain and its North America colonies. By the mid-18th century, tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain, and before the end of that century, the Encyclopedia stated the tomato was "in daily use" in soups, broths, and as a garnish.

Middle East
The tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East by John Barker, British consul in Aleppo circa 1799 to 1825. Nineteenth century descriptions of its consumption are uniformly as an ingredient in a cooked dish. In 1881, it is described as only eaten in the region, “within the last forty years”.
The tomato entered Iran through two separate routes; one was through Turkey and Armenia, and the other was through the Qajar royal family's frequent travels to France. The early name used for tomato in Iran was Armani badenjan (Armenian eggplant). Currently, the name used for tomato in Iran is gojeh farangi [foreign (literally, European) plum].
North America
The earliest reference to tomatoes being grown in British North America is from 1710, when herbalist William Salmon reported seeing them in what is today South Carolina. They may have been introduced from the Caribbean. By the mid-18th century, they were cultivated on some Carolina plantations, and probably in other parts of the Southeast as well. Possibly, some people continued to think tomatoes were poisonous at this time; and in general, they were grown more as ornamental plants than as food. Thomas Jefferson, who ate tomatoes in Paris, sent some seeds back to America.
Grape tomatoes – various colors upon ripening
A basket of tomatoes displayed in a Singapore supermarket
The tomato is now grown worldwide for its edible fruits, with thousands of cultivars having been selected with varying fruit types, and for optimum growth in differing growing conditions. Cultivated tomatoes vary in size, from tomberries, about 5mm in diameter, through cherry, about the same 1–2 centimeters (0.4–0.8 in) size as the wild tomato, up to beefsteak tomatoes 10 centimeters (4 in) or more in diameter. The most widely grown commercial tomatoes tend to be in the 5–6 centimeters (2.0–2.4 in) diameter range. Most cultivars produce red fruit, but a number of cultivars with yellow, orange, pink, purple, green, black, or white fruit are also available. Multicolored and striped fruit can also be quite striking. Tomatoes grown for canning and sauces are often elongated, 7–9 centimeters (3–4 in) long and 4–5 centimeters (1.6–2.0 in) diameter; they are known as plum tomatoes, and have a lower water content. Roma-type tomatoes are important cultivars in the Sacramento Valley.
Tomato seedlings growing indoors
Tomatoes are one of the most common garden fruits in the United States and, along with zucchini, have a reputation for out producing the needs of the grower.
Green tomatoes nestled on the vine
Quite a few seed merchants and banks provide a large selection of heirloom seeds. The definition of an heirloom tomato is vague, but unlike commercial hybrids, all are self-pollinators who have bred true for 40 years or more.
About 130 million tons of tomatoes were produced in the world in 2008. China, the largest producer, accounted for about one quarter of the global output, followed by United States and Turkey
For one variety, plum or processing tomatoes, California accounts for 90% of U.S. production and 35% of world production.
According to FAOSTAT, the top producers of tomatoes (in tonnes) in 2008 were
Top Tomato Producers – 2008
(in tonnes)
33 811 702
12 575 900
10 985 400
10 260 600
5 976 912
World Total
129 649 883
   List of tomato cultivars.
There are around 7500 tomato varieties grown for various purposes. Heirloon tomatoes are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among home gardeners and organic producers, since they tend to produce more interesting and flavorful crops at the cost of disease resistance and productivity.
Hybrid plants remain common, since they tend to be heavier producers, and sometimes combine unusual characteristics of heirloom tomatoes with the ruggedness of conventional commercial tomatoes.
Various heriloon tomato cultivars
Tomato varieties are roughly divided into several categories, based mostly on shape and size.
·        "Slicing" or "globe" tomatoes are the usual tomatoes of commerce, used for a wide variety of processing and fresh eating.
·        Beefsteak tomatoes are large tomatoes often used for sandwiches and similar applications. Their kidney-bean shape, thinner skin, and shorter shelf life makes commercial use impractical.
·        Oxheart tomatoes can range in size up to beefsteaks, and are shaped like large strawberries.
·        Plum tomatoes, or paste tomatoes (including pear tomatoes), are bred with a higher solids content for use in tomato sauce and paste, and are usually oblong.
·        Pear tomatoes are obviously pear-shaped, and are based upon the San Marzano types for a richer gourmet paste.
·        Cherry tomatoes are small and round, often sweet tomatoes generally eaten whole in salads.
·        Grape tomatoes, a more recent introduction, are smaller and oblong, a variation on plum tomatoes, and used in salads.
·        Campari tomatoes are also sweet and noted for their juiciness, low acidity, and lack of mealiness. They are bigger than cherry tomatoes, but are smaller than plum tomatoes.
Early tomatoes and cool-summer tomatoes bear fruit even where nights are cool, which usually discourages fruit set. There are also varieties high in beta carotenes and vitamin A, hollow tomatoes and tomatoes which keep for months in storage.
A variety of specific cultivars, including Brandywine (biggest red), Black Krim (lower left) and Green Zebra (top right)
Most modern tomato cultivars are smooth surfaced, but some older tomato cultivars and most modern beefsteaks often show pronounced ribbing, a feature that may have been common to virtually all pre-Columbian cultivars. While virtually all commercial tomato varieties are red, some cultivars – especially heirlooms – produce fruit in other colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, ivory, white, and purple. Such fruit are not widely available in grocery stores, nor are their seedlings available in typical nurseries, but they can be bought as seed. Less common variations include fruit with stripes (Green Zebra), fuzzy skin on the fruit (Fuzzy Peach, Red Boar), multiple colors (Hillbilly, Burracker's Favorite, Lucky Cross), etc.
There is also a considerable gap between commercial and home-gardener cultivars; home cultivars are often bred for flavor to the exclusion of all other qualities, while commercial cultivars are bred for such factors as consistent size and shape, disease and pest resistance, suitability for mechanized picking and shipping, and ability to be picked before fully ripening.
Tomatoes grow well with seven hours of sunlight a day. A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 is often sold as tomato fertilizer or vegetable fertilizer, although manure and compost are also used.
Tomato cultivars vary widely in their resistance to disease. Modern hybrids focus on improving disease resistance over the heirloom plants. One common tomato disease is tobacco mosaic virus, so smoking or use of tobacco products are discouraged around tomatoes, although there is some scientific debate over whether the virus could possibly survive being burned and converted into smoke. Various forms of and are also common tomato afflictions, which is why tomato cultivars are often marked with a combination of letters which refer to specific disease resistance.
Tomato fruitworm eating unripe tomato
Another particularly dreaded disease is curly top, carried by the beet leafhopper, which interrupts the lifecycle, ruining a nightshade plant as a crop. As the name implies, it has the symptom of making the top leaves of the plant wrinkle up and grow abnormally.
The flower and leaves are visible in this photo of a tomato plant.
In the wild, original state, tomatoes required cross-pollination; they were much more self-incompatible than domestic cultivars. As a floral device to reduce selfing, the pistil of wild tomatoes extends farther out of the flower than today's cultivars. The stamens were, and remain, entirely within the closed corolla.
As tomatoes were moved from their native areas, their traditional pollinators, (probably a species of halictid bee did not move with them. The trait of self-fertility became an advantage, and domestic cultivars of tomato have been selected to maximize this trait.
This is not the same as self-pollination, despite the common claim that tomatoes do so. That tomatoes pollinate themselves poorly without outside aid is clearly shown in greenhouse situations, where pollination must be aided by artificial wind, vibration of the plants (one brand of vibrator is a wand called an "electric bee" that is used manually), or more often today, by cultured bumblebees The anther of a tomato flower is shaped like a hollow tube, with the pollen produced within the structure, rather than on the surface, as in most species. The pollen moves through pores in the anther, but very little pollen is shed without some kind of outside motion. The best source of outside motion is a sonicating bee, such as a bumblebee, or the original wild halictid pollinator. In an outside setting, wind or animals provide sufficient motion to produce commercially viable crops.
Picking and ripening
Unripe tomatoes
Tomatoes are often picked unripe (and thus colored green) and ripened in storage with ethylene. Unripe tomatoes are firm. As they ripen they soften until reaching the ripe state where they are red or orange in color and slightly soft to the touch. Ethylene is a hydrocarbon gas produced by many fruits that acts as the molecular cue to begin the ripening process. Tomatoes ripened in this way tend to keep longer, but have poorer flavor and a mealier, starchier texture than tomatoes ripened on the plant. They may be recognized by their color, which is more pink or orange than the other ripe tomatoes' deep red, depending on variety.
Recently, stores have begun selling "tomatoes on the vine", which are determinate varieties that are ripened or harvested with the fruits still connected to a piece of vine. These tend to have more flavor than artificially ripened tomatoes. Slow-ripening cultivars of tomato have been developed by crossing a non-ripening cultivar with ordinary cultivars. Cultivars were selected whose fruits have a long shelf life and at least reasonable flavor.
At home, fully ripe tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator, but are best kept at room temperature. Tomatoes stored cold will still be edible, but tend to lose flavor; thus, "Never Refrigerate" stickers are sometimes placed on tomatoes in supermarkets.
Genetic modification
Tomatoes that have been modified using genetic engineering have been developed, and although none are commercially available now, they have been in the past. The first commercially available genetically modified food was a variety of tomato named, which was engineered to have a longer shelf life. Scientists are continuing to develop tomatoes with new traits not found in natural crops, such as increased resistance to pests or environmental stresses. Other projects aim to enrich tomatoes with substances that may offer health benefits or provide better nutrition.

The tomato is now grown and eaten around the world. It is used in diverse ways, including raw in salads, and processed into ketchup or tomato soup. Unripe green tomatoes can also be breaded and fried, used to make salsa, or pickled. Tomato Juice is sold as a drink, and is used in cocktails such as the Bloody Mary.
Tomatoes are acidic, making them especially easy to preserve in home canning whole, in pieces, as tomato sauce or paste. The fruit is also preserved by drying, often in the sun, and sold either in bags or in jars with oil.
Tomatoes are used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine, especially Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines. They are a key ingredient in pizza, and are commonly used in pasta sauces. They are also used in gazpacho (Spanish cuisine).

Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart, among other organs. They contain the carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies, lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cance but other research contradicts this claim. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays. Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants. Tomato varieties are available with double the normal vitamin C (Doublerich), 40 times normal vitamin A (97L97), high levels of anhtocyanin (resulting in blue tomatoes), and two to four times the normal amount of lycopene (numerous available cultivars with the high crimson gene).
Medicinal properties
Lycopene has also been shown to protect against oxidative damage in many epidemiological and experimental studies. In addition to its antioxidant activity, other metabolic effects of lycopene have also been demonstrated. The richest source of lycopene in the diet is tomato and tomato derived products. Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases. Tomatoes and tomato sauces and puree are said to help lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH)) and may have anticancer properties.
Tomatoes that are not yet ripe are optimally stored at room temperature uncovered, out of direct sunlight, until ripe. In this environment, they have a shelf life of three to four days.]When ripe, they should be used in one to two days. Tomatoes should only be refrigerated when well ripened, but this will affect flavor.
Plant toxicity
Like many other nightshades, tomato leaves and stems contain atropine and other tropane alkaloids that are toxic if ingested. Ripened fruit does not contain these compounds]. Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the poisonous alkaloid tomatine Use of tomato leaves in tea has been responsible for at least one death. However, levels of tomatine are generally too small to be dangerous.
Tomato plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat large amounts of the fruit, or chew plant material.
Botanical description

Tomato flower in June, Castelltallat
Tomato plants are vines, initially decumbent, typically growing six feet or more above the ground if supported, although erect bush varieties have been bred, generally three feet tall or shorter. Indeterminate types are "tender" perennials, dying annually in temperate climates (they are originally native to tropical highlands), although they can live up to three years in a greenhouse in some cases. Determinate types are annual in all climates.
Tomato plants are dicots, and grow as a series of branching stems, with a terminal bud at the tip that does the actual growing. When that tip eventually stops growing, whether because of pruning or flowering, lateral buds take over and grow into other, fully functional, vines.
Tomato vines are typically pubescent, meaning covered with fine short hairs. These hairs facilitate the vining process, turning into roots wherever the plant is in contact with the ground and moisture, especially if the vine's connection to its original root has been damaged or severed.
Most tomato plants have compound leaves, and are called regular leaf (RL) plants, but some cultivars have simple leaves known as potato leaf (PL) style because of their resemblance to that close cousin. Of RL plants, there are variations, such as rugose leaves, which are deeply grooved, and variegated, angora leaves, which have additional colors where a genetic mutation causes chlorophyll to be excluded from some portions of the leaves.
The leaves are 10–25 centimetres (4–10 in) long, odd pinnate, with five to 9 leaflets on petioles,each leaflet up to 8 centimetres (3 in) long, with a serrated margin; both the stem and leaves are densely glandular-hairy.
Their flowers, appearing on the apical meristem, have the anthers fused along the edges, forming a column surrounding the pistil’s' style. Flowers in domestic cultivars tend to be self-fertilizing. The flowers are 1–2 centimetres (0.4–0.8 in) across, yellow, with five pointed lobes on the corolla they are borne in a cyme of three to 12 together.
Tomato fruit is classified as a berry. As a true fruit, it develops from the ovary of the plant after fertilization, its flesh comprising the pericarp walls. The fruit contains hollow spaces full of seeds and moisture, called locular cavities. These vary, among cultivated species, according to type. Some smaller varieties have two cavities, globe-shaped varieties typically have three to five, beefsteak tomatoes have a great number of smaller cavities, while paste tomatoes have very few, very small cavities.
For propagation, the seeds need to come from a mature fruit, and be dried or fermented before germination.
Fruit or vegetable?

Botanically, a tomato is a fruit: the ovary, together with its seeds, of a flowering plant. However, the tomato has a much lower sugar content than other fruits, and is therefore not as sweet. Typically served as part of a salad or main course of a meal, rather than at dessert, it is considered a vegetable for most culinary purposes. One exception is that tomatoes are treated as a fruit in home canning practices: they are acidic enough to be processed in a water bath rather than a pressure cooker as "vegetables" require. Tomatoes are not the only foodstuff with this ambiguity: eggplants, cucumbers, and squashes of all kinds (such as zucchini and pumpkins) are all botanically fruits, yet cooked as vegetables.
This argument has had legal implications in the United States. In 1887, U.S. tariff laws that imposed a duty on vegetables, but not on fruits, caused the tomato's status to become a matter of legal importance. The U.S. Supreme court settled the controversy on May 10, 1893, by declaring that the tomato is a vegetable, based on the popular definition that classifies vegetables by use, that they are generally served with dinner and not dessert.
 The holding of the case applies only to the interpretation of the Tariff Act of March 3, 1883, and the court did not purport to reclassify the tomato for botanical or other purposes.
Tomatoes have been designated the state vegetable of New Jersey. Arkansas took both sides by declaring the "South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato" to be both the state fruit and the state vegetable in the same law, citing both its culinary and botanical classifications. In 2009, the state of Ohio passed a law making the tomato the state's official fruit. Tomato juice has been the official beverage of Ohio since 1965. A.W.Livingston, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, played a large part in popularizing the tomato in the late 19th century; his efforts are
Tomato records
The "tomato tree" as seen by guests on the Living with the Land boat ride at Epcot Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The heaviest tomato ever, weighing 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz), was of the cultivar 'Delicious', grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond Oklahoma in 1986. The largest tomato plant grown was of the cultivar 'Sungold' and reached 19.8 m (65 ft) in length, grown by Nutriculture Ltd (UK) of Mawdesley, Lancashire, UK, in 2000.
The massive "tomato tree" growing inside the Walt Disney World Resot's experimental greenhouses in Lake Buena Vista, Florida may be the largest single tomato plant in the world. The plant has been recognized as a Guinness World Record Holder, with a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and a total weight of 522 kg (1,150 lb). It yields thousands of tomatoes at one time from a single vine. Yong Huang, Epcot’s' manager of agricultural science, discovered the unique plant in Beijing, China. Huang brought its seeds to Epcot and created the specialized greenhouse for the fruit to grow. The vine grows golf ball-sized tomatoes which are served at Walt Disney World restaurants.
Unfortunately, the world record-setting tomato tree can no longer be seen by guests along the Living With the Land boat ride at Epcot, as the tree developed a disease and was removed in April 2010 after approximately 13 months of life.