The Project File Details
Tomato is a perennial plant usually grown as annual plant. The stems are soft and haired, the leaves are 10-30cm long and 5-10 leaflet, it is an edible fruit that is red in colour and is botanically called Solanum lycoporsicum (Helicase). The small yellow flowers of the tomato have five pointed lobes and on the corolla (Pertoturza, 2008).
Tomato is very perishable vegetable with a short life and high susceptibility of fungi diseases during prolong storage. Tomato’s originated from Mexico and spread to the world following Spanish colonization of the Americans, it is now widely grown, sometimes in green house in cooler climate. However, tomato’s species has its uses as food (Eliphinstone, 2005).
Tomato is used in diverse ways, including raw as an ingredient in many dishes, drinks, salads and sauces, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purpose which has caused some confusion (Hartz et al, 2008).
Tomato can be grown mainly as ornamental early on after their arrival in Italy, the ability of it to create new different varieties and mutate helped contribute to its success and spread throughout Italy (Hartz et al, 2008).
Tomato contains high level of anti-oxidant Vitamin C, lycopene and B, Carotene, tomato is best adapted to warm and dry environment, yields are low due to poor fruit setting caused by high temperature and diseases problems (Boshou, 2005). The ripening of tomatoes is characterized by the softening of the fruit, sucrose.
The degradation of the chlorophila and increase in the respiration rate. It contains high level of fructose and glucose than sucrose. During tomato fruit ripening a series of quantitative and qualitative of the chemical composition takes place, organic acid and soluble sugar, amino acid, pigment and over four hundred aroma compound contributes to the taste and flavor, aroma volatile profiles of the tomatoes (Alexander, 2005).
Below are some of the benefits of tomatoes;
Scientists are continuing to develop tomatoes with new traits that are not found in natural crops such as increased resistance to environmental stresses or pest. The purpose of this project is to enrich tomatoes with substances that after health benefit or provide better nutrition’s.
Below are the four important medicinal benefits of tomatoes;
Tomatoes have been widely used to fight viruses and infection, it also fight against clogged arteries and even heart disease, stimulating blood flow and regulating cholesterol levels tomatoes has also been used as a natural anti-septic agent because of its nicotinic acid.
Tomatoes leaves, stems and unripe fruits contain small amount of toxic alkaloid tomaline. Tomatoes leaves of tomaline in foliage and green fruit are generally too small to be dangerous unless large amount are consumed.
Tomatoes foliage are used for flavouring without ill effect and the green fruit is sometimes used for dishes as fried green tomatoes.
The typical phyto-chemicals found in tomato are; Kaempforola, Phytoene, Polyphenols, Phyofluene, Quercertine, Betacarotene, Lycopene, Flavonoids and Carotenoids.
A number of potential mechanisms by which lycopene may act as emerged, including serving as an important in vivo anti-oxidant, enhancing cell to cell communication via increase gab junction between cells and modulating cell cycle progression, although the effect of lycopene is biologically relevant.
Tomato has phyto-chemicals which is also associated with lower cancer risk. It is also an excellent source of nutrient, including Vitamin C, Folic acid and various other carotenoid.
Mounting evidences over the past decades suggest that the consumption of fresh and processed tomatoes product is associated with reduce in risk of prostate cancer. The emerging hypothesis is that lycopene which is the primary red carotenoid in tomatoes may be the principal phyto-chemical responsible for this reduction risk.
Diseases are the major factors that affect tomato plant. The diseases of tomatoes can be classified into two groups. The first group are those cause by non-infection physical or chemical factors such as adverse environmental factors, herbicide injury, physiological disorder and nutritional. The second group are those caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria, nematodes, viruses and fungi. These diseases can spread from plant to plant in the field an very rapidly when environmental conditions are favourable (Hayward, 2009).