Long-keeping Regular and Cherry Tomatoes

Agriculture/Environmental Sciences

Prof. Nahum Kedar (1920-2015), Prof. Haim Rabinowitch, Prof. Yosef Mizrahi, Dr. Ehud Kopeliovitch
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Skillfully using classical methods, the scientists were the world’s first team to breed tomato varieties with fruit that is both long-keeping and rich in lycopene and in vitamins A and C. The tomatoes remain firm for weeks rather than days, thus significantly reducing heavy losses from rapid fruit softening. Later, the scientists reproduced their success by introducing another ripening-inhibitor gene into cherry tomatoes, which were at that time a marginal crop. They developed prolific new cherry tomato varieties that are economically viable as an agricultural product, with a long shelf life and an exceptional taste that appeals to people all over the world.