Scientists have grown genetically-engineered purple tomatoes in an unusual endeavour to promote healthy food.
The tomatoes include two genes taken from the snapdragon flower (Antirrhinum majus) to enable them to express a compound called anthocyanin, the purple pigment found in high levels in fruit such as blackberries and cranberries.
Previous research has found that anthocyanins offer protection against certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and degenerative diseases, and may also hinder inflammation, obesity and diabetes.
The study is published online on Sunday by Nature Biotechnology, a journal of the London-based Nature Publishing Group.
Researcher Cathie Martin from the John Innes Centre, a biotechnology institute in Norwich, eastern England, said the point behind the purple toms was to boost the healthiness of diets. Read the rest of this entry »