A recent study conducted by Ohio State University in the United States reported that the dietary carotenoids that impart tomatoes their color, protect the skin from Ultraviolet (UV) light damage. With increasing number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer with each passing year, it is good news that the daily consumption of tomato may reduce the chances of skin cancer.
The small, round, sweet, juicy and delicious red colored tomato is one of the most consumed vegetables in the world, not only because of its culinary purpose but also due to numerous health benefits. Tomato, with its infinite benefits, is the latest example of skin cancer remedies.
From time immemorial, there exists a love affair between man and tomatoes, due to the vegetable’s capacity for better acclimatization to various environments. Today, tomatoes come in an array of different colors, sizes, shapes, and tastes. Tomatoes have emerged as one of the most desired vegetables in the world, due to their unique taste and nutritional qualities. More than 100 new tomato varieties are being made available in the global market, with each passing year.
Tomatoes are bestowed with the title ‘God food’, due to their innumerable health benefits and form an integral part of cuisines all over the world. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper. Organic compounds like lycopene also attribute to the health benefits. The selection criteria for tomatoes varies with the country and culture. While the Asian population is particular about lighter colors, small shapes of tomatoes are preferred in the European countries.
So how did “God food” get to dominate the seed market?
According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, ‘the tomato seed market revenue covers a whopping USD 829.8 million of the USD 7.8 billion revenue of the global vegetable seed market’. The figures clearly depict the dominance of tomatoes in the seed market.
China is the largest producer of tomatoes, followed by India, the United States, Turkey, and Egypt. The food processing market occupies about 30% of the destination market for tomato, while nearly 70% of it is consumed as fresh produce.
Currently, leading seed companies across the globe are mainly focused on improving the yield, adaptability to various climatic conditions and developing varieties with disease and pest tolerance. High emphasis has been laid on developing disease-resistant tomatoes as they are prone to attacks by more than 200 diseases and pests. Some common diseases are bacterial wilt, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), groundnut bud necrosis virus (GBNV), etc. Breeders from companies are also working on developing tomato flavors and tastes. The growth of the tomato seed market is heavily credited to the use of hybrid seeds and high-value experimental varieties in developed economies. Although the investment in this industry is high, the return on investment (ROI) is dramatically encouraging farmers globally to adopt hybrid tomato seeds for production.
Adoption of improved varieties and hybrids is expected to surely drive the global tomato seed market. Companies like Monsanto, Groupe Limagrain, Syngenta, etc., are working with their best teams, aligned with international standards and practice. The move helps them to achieve their business objectives, in addition to creating value to society that is demonstrated by their strong effort in the research of tomato seed production. The companies’ far-reaching visions may have exceptional benefits for the sustainable production of the nutritional and healthy vegetable – ‘The God food’.
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