NORWICH, Britain - Scientist from John Innes Centre in Norwich, England have developed genetically modified purple tomatoes. The intent of the tomatoes is to give the same potential health benefits as fruits like blueberries.
A large-scale production is now underway in Canada. The first 1,200 liters of purple tomato juice is ready for shipping.
The goal of the purple tomatoes is to use the juice in research and conduct a wide range of tests including examining whether the anthocyanin has positive effects on humans.
The pigment which is known as anthocyanin, is an antioxidant that studies on animals show could help fight cancer.
Scientist say the new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everything from ketchup to pizza topping.
The purple tomatoes are part of a new generation of GM plants designed to appeal to consumers. The first types were aimed specifically at farmers as new tools in agriculture.
"It is frustrating that we've had to go to Canada to do a lot of the growing and the processing and I hope this will serve as a vanguard product where people can have access to something that is GM but has benefits for them," says Professor Cathie Martin.
Although the invention is British, Professor Martin says European Union restrictions on GM encouraged her to look abroad to develop the technology.
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