There are around 7,500 varieties of tomato. In 2009, about 150 million tons of tomatoes were produced worldwide. China, the largest producer, accounted for almost 30 % of the global output. Depending on shape or size, tomatoes are categorized into: Slicing or globe, beefsteak, oxheart, plum, pear, cherry, grape, and campari.
Kamatis is a hairy annual herb, typically growing 1 to 3 meters in height, with ascending or spreading hairy and branched stems. Stem is weak, often sprawling over the ground or vines over other plants. Leaves are pinnate and alternate, oblong-ovate, 10 to 40 centimeters long. Leaflets are irregular and toothed or lobed. Inflorescence is racemose or cymose, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and few flowered. Flowers are yellow, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Fruit is variable in shape; in the wild and naturalized forms it is rounded or pear-shaped; 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter; in the
commonly cultivated form, the fruit is rounded and compressed, lobed, 4 to 10 centimeters wide, red when
ripe, smooth, fleshy, juicy, subacid, containing numerous seeds.
- Found throughout the Philippines
in its original form.
- Extensively cultivated; grown in gardens and farms as vegetable.
- Cultivated worldwide.
- Plant yields solanine and fixed oil.
- The fruit yields the carotene lycopene, of the most powerful antioxidants. The red color found in tomatoes is due to lycopene; therefore, the redder the tomato, the higher the lycopene content. Yellow and green tomatoes are relatively low in lycopene.
100 gm of tomato
contains: Water 94%, protein
1 gm; fat 0,3%, carbohydrate 4%, fiber 0.6%, vitamin A 1,100 IU, Vit
B 0.2mh. vitamin C 23 mg, nicotinic acid 0.6%, pantothenic acid 0.31
mg, vitamin E 0.27 mg, biotin 0.004 mg, malic acid 150 mg, citric acid
390 mg, oxalic acid 7.5 mg, sodium 3 mg, potassium 268 mg, calcium 11
mg, magnesium 11 mg, iron 0.6 mg, copper 0.1 mg, manganese 0.19 mg,
phosphorus 27 mg, sulfur 11 mg, chlorine 51 mg.
- Natural genetic variation has yielded a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants.
- Seeds contain globuline, vitamins A, B, and C, solanine, etc.
- Considered a mild aperient, a promoter of gastric secretion, and a blood purifier.
- Also considered an intestinal antiseptic, with a cleansing effect in the enteric portion of the intestinal tract.
- Considered antioxidant from the carotene lycopene.
- It's both fruit and vegetable, eaten raw or as ingredient in countless dishes and sauces.
- Green, used in native pickles, achara.
- Good source of iron and phosphorus, vitamins A and B, and excellent source of vitamin C, and considered deficient in calcium.
- Tomatoes are loaded for vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that mops up
- Tomatoes also contain lycopene, p-coumaric acid and cholorogenic acid,
all claims have been made that it might be helpful in reducing cancer risks.
- Sudanese use the leaves as seasoning for rice.
- Pulp and juice are mild
- Juice used for asthma and bronchitis.
- Used to stimulate a torpid liver.
- Used for anotic dyspepsia.
- Used for biliousness.
• Lycopene / Hepatoprotective:
Lycopene is considered a better antioxidant than other carotenoids. In a study on acute injury caused by oxidant carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), results showed that tomato juice, with its lycopene and ascorbic acid content, exhibited a strong effect on oxidative damage of CCl4 in rat liver. (1)
• Lycopene / Prostate Cancer Prevention / No Magic Tomato / A Negative Report:
A study reported no significant difference between those who had prostate cancer and those who did not in relation to the concentration of lycopene in their blood stream. In fact, researchers noted an association between beta-carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer. (10)
• Lectins / Mucosal Immunogen:
Lycospersicum esculentum lectins studies suggest it to be a potent mucosal immunogen, enhancing immune responses to antigens.
• Tomatoes in Gene Therapy:
Jure Piskur et al from the Lund University, published study results suggesting the tomato could be of value in future treatment of brain tumors. (3)
• Antimutagenic / Anticlastogenic: Study evaluated the combined effect of tomato and garlic against DBMA-induced genetic damage and oxidative stress in mice. Results suggest a broad spectrum of antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects may be achieved through a combination of functional foods. (4)
Radioprotective effects of an aqueous extract of tomato extract was studied in chromosome aberration in cells of bone marrow in irradiated mice. Pretreatment with the extract resulted in a significant reduction in the percentage of aberrant metaphases as well as in the different types of aberration scored. The extract showed not toxicity at 1500 mg KBW. (7)
• Prevention of Lead Adverse Effects:
In a rat study, lead was showed to cause significant reductions in many hematologic and laboratory parameters with significant increases in the percentage of neutrophils and plasma malondialdehyde concentration. Tomato paste significantly prevented the effects of lead acetate. (8)
• Decreased Platelet Aggregation:
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluated the use of a tomato extract as dietary supplement to prevent platelet aggregation. Results showed significant reductions in es vivo platelet aggregation induced by ADP and collagen. Results suggest tomato extract, as a dietary supplement or functional food, may have a role in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing platelet activation, which could contribute to thrombotic events. (13)
In The News
• Fruitflow / Antithrombotic / Aspirin Alternative: Study claims that Fruitflow, a tomato extract, can reduce the risk of blood clots, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes. Results of a human clinical trial compares Fruitflow with aspirin, with its ability to reduce platelet aggregation by 28% through three different biologic pathways (vs aspirin, 60% reduction, in a single pathway).