Friday, 13 April 2012

Tomato - Business

History br The tomato is native to South America Genetic evidence shows that the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit with a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru One species Solanum lycopersicum was transported to Mexico where it was grown and consumed by prehistoric humans The exact date of domestication is not known The first domesticated tomato may have been a little yellow fruit similar in size to Cherry tomatoes citation needed grown by the Aztecs of Central Mexico Aztec writings mention tomatoes were prepared with peppers corn and salt citation needed The word tomato comes from the Aztec tomatl br Many historians who believe that the Spanish explorer Cortez may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochttlan now Mexico City in 1521 Others who believe Christopher Columbus an Italian working for the Spanish monarchy was the first European to take back the to mato as early as 1493 The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in a herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli an Italian physician and botanist who named it pomo dro golden apple br Aztecs and other peoples in the region used the fruit in their cooking it was being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas by 500 BC It is thought that the Pueblo people believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination The large lumpy tomato a mutation from a smoother smaller fruit originated in Mesoamerica and may be direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes br Spanish distribution br After the Spanish colonization of the Americas the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean They also took it to the Philippines from where it spread to southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe It grew easily in Me diterranean climates and cultivation began in the 1540s It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced and was certainly being used as food by the early 1600s in Spain The earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692 though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources citation needed However in certain areas of Italy such as Florence the fruit was used solely as tabletop decoration before it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century br Britain br Tomatoes on display at Borough Market in London England br Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s 17 One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard a barber surgeon 17 Gerard s Herbal published in 1597 and largely plagiarized from continental sources citation needed is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England Gerard knew that the tomato was eaten in Spain and Italy 17 Nonetheless he believed that it was poisonous 17 tomato leaves and stems actually contain poisonous glycoalkaloids but the fruit is safe Gerard s views were influential and the tomato was considered unfit for eating though not necessarily poisonous for many years in Britain and its North American colonies 17 br By the mid 1700s tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain and before the end of that century the Encyclopdia Britannica stated that the tomato was in daily use in soups broths and as a garnish In Victorian times cultivation reached an industrial scale in glasshouses most famously in Worthing Pressure for housing land in the 1930s to 1960s saw the industry move west to Littlehampton and to the market gardens south of Chichester Over the past 15 years the British tomato industry has declined as more competitive imports from Spain and the Netherlands have reached the supermarkets citation needed br Middle East br The tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East by John Barker British consul in Aleppo c 1799 c 1825 Nineteenth century descriptions of its consumption are uniformly as an ingredient in a cooked dish In 1881 it is described as only eaten in the region ithin the last forty years 8 br The tomato entered Iran through two separate routes citation needed One route was through Turkey and Armenia and the second route was through the Qajar royal family s frequent travels to France The early name used for tomato in Iran was Armani Badenjan Armenian Eggplant Currently the name used for tomato in Iran is Gojeh Farangi Foreign Plum br North America br The earliest reference to tomatoes being grown in British North America is from 1710 when herbalist William Salmon reported seeing them in what is today South Carolina 25 They may have been introduced from the Caribbean By the mid 18th century they were cultivated on some Carolina plantations and probably in other parts of the Southeast as well It is possible that some people continued to think tomatoes were poiso nous at this time and in general they were grown more as ornamental plants than as food Thomas Jefferson who ate tomatoes in Paris sent some seeds back to America 28 br Because of their longer growing season for this heat loving crop several states in the US Sun Belt became major tomato producers particularly Florida and California In California tomatoes are grown under irrigation for both the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing The University of California Davis UC Davis became a major center for research on the tomato The C M Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center at UC Davis is a genebank of wild relatives monogenic mutants and miscellaneous genetic stocks of tomato The Center is named for the late Dr Charles M Rick a pioneer in tomato genetics research Research on processing tomatoes is also conducted by the California Tomato Research Institute in Escalon California br Cultivation and uses br A basket of tomatoes displayed in a Singapore supermarket br The to mato is now grown worldwide for its edible fruits with thousands of cultivars having been selected with varying fruit types and for optimum growth in differing growing conditions Cultivated tomatoes vary in size from tomberries about 5mm in diameter through cherry tomatoes about the same 12 centimetres 0 40 8 160 in size as the wild tomato up to beefsteak tomatoes 10 160 centimetres 4 160 in or more in diameter The most widely grown commercial tomatoes tend to be in the 56 centimetres 2 02 4 160 in diameter range Most cultivars produce red fruit but a number of cultivars with yellow orange pink purple green black or white fruit are also available Multicolored and striped fruit can also be quite striking Tomatoes grown for canning and sauces are often elongated 79 centimetres 34 160 in long and 45 centimetres 1 62 0 160 in diameter they are known as plum tomatoes and have a lower water content Roma type tomatoes are important cultivars in the Sacramento Valley br Tomatoes are one of the most common garden fruits in the United States and along with zucchini have a reputation for outproducing the needs of the grower br As in most sectors of agriculture there is increasing demand in developed countries for organic tomatoes as well as heirloom tomatoes to make up for flavor and texture faults in commercial tomatoes Quite a few seed merchants and banks provide a large selection of heirloom seeds Tomato seeds are occasionally organically produced as well but only a small percentage of organic crop area is grown with organic seed citation needed The definition of an heirloom tomato is vague but unlike commercial hybrids all are self pollinators who have bred true for 40 years or more br About 130 million tons of tomatoes were produced in the world in 2008 China the largest producer accounted for about one quarter of the global output followed by United States and Turkey For one variety known as plum or processing tomatoes California accounts for 90 of U S production and 35 of world production br According to FAOSTAT the top producers of tomatoes in tonnes in 2008 were br Top Tomato Producers 2008 br in tonnes br 160 China br 33 811 702 br 160 United States br 12 575 900 br 160 Turkey br 10 985 400 br 160 India br 10 260 600 br 160 Italy br 5 976 912 br World Total br 129 649 883 br Varieties br For a more comprehensive list see List of tomato cultivars br There are many around 7500 tomato varieties grown for various purposes Heirloom tomatoes are becoming increasingly popular particularly among home gardeners and organic producers since they tend to produce more interesting and flavorful citation needed crops at the cost of disease resistance and productivity br Hybrid plants remain common since they tend to be heavier producers and sometimes combine unusual characteristics of heirloom tomatoes with the ruggedness of conventional commercial tomatoes br Various heirloom tomato cultivars br Indian Vegetable Salad containing Lemon Tomato Radish Beetroot Cucumber and Green Chillies br Tomato varieties are roughly divided into several categories based mostly on shape and size Slicing or globe tomatoes are the usual tomatoes of commerce beefsteak are large tomatoes often used for sandwiches and similar applications their kidney bean shape makes commercial use impractical along with a thinner skin and shorter shelf life globe tomatoes are of the category of canners used for a wide variety of processing and fresh eating oxheart tomatoes can range in size up to beefsteaks and are shaped like large strawberries plum tomatoes or paste tomatoes including pear tomatoes are bred with a higher solid content for use in tomato sauce and paste and are usually oblong pear tomatoes are obviously pear shaped and based upon the San Marzano types for a richer gourmet paste cherry tomatoes are small and round often sweet tomatoes generally eaten whole in salads and grape tomatoes which are a more recent introductio n are smaller and oblong used in salads campari tomatoes are also sweet and noted for their juiciness low acidity and lack of mealiness they are bigger than cherry tomatoes but are smaller than plum tomato br Early tomatoes and cool summer tomatoes bear fruit even where nights are cool which usually discourages fruit set There are also varieties high in beta carotenes and vitamin A hollow tomatoes and tomatoes which keep for months in storage br Tomatoes are also commonly classified as determinate or indeterminate Determinate or bush types bear a full crop all at once and top off at a specific height they are often good choices for container growing Determinate types are preferred by commercial growers who wish to harvest a whole field at one time or home growers interested in canning Indeterminate varieties develop into vines that never top off and continue producing until killed by frost They are preferred by home growers and local market farmers who want ripe fruit throug hout the season As an intermediate form there are plants sometimes known as vigorous determinate or semi determinate these top off like determinates but produce a second crop after the initial crop The majority of heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate although some determinate heirlooms exist br A variety of specific cultivars including Brandywine biggest red Black Krim lower left corner and Green Zebra top right br Most modern tomato cultivars are smooth surfaced but some older tomato cultivars and most modern beefsteaks often show pronounced ribbing a feature that may have been common to virtually all pre Columbian cultivars While virtually all commercial tomato varieties are red some tomato cultivars especially heirlooms produce fruit in colors other than red including yellow orange pink black brown ivory white and purple though such fruit is not widely available in grocery stores nor are their seedlings available in typical nurseries but must be bought as seed often via ma il order Less common variations include fruit with stripes Green Zebra fuzzy skin on the fruit Fuzzy Peach Red Boar multiple colors Hillbilly Burracker s Favorite Lucky Cross etc br There is also a considerable gap between commercial and home gardener cultivars home cultivars are often bred for flavor to the exclusion of all other qualities while commercial cultivars are bred for such factors as consistent size and shape disease and pest resistance and suitability for mechanized picking and shipping as well as their ability to be picked before fully ripening Tomatoes grow well with 7 hours of sunlight a day A fertilizer with the ratio 5 10 10 often sold as tomato fertilizer or vegetable fertilizer can be used for extra growth and production but manure or compost work well too br Diseases and pests br For a more comprehensive list see List of tomato diseases br Tomato cultivars vary widely in their resistance to disease Modern hybrids focus on improving disease resistance ove r the heirloom plants One common tomato disease is tobacco mosaic virus and for this reason smoking or use of tobacco products are discouraged around tomatoes although there is some scientific debate citation needed over whether the virus could possibly survive being burned and converted into smoke Various forms of mildew and blight are also common tomato afflictions which is why tomato cultivars are often marked with a combination of letters which refer to specific disease resistance The most common letters are V verticillium wilt F fusarium wilt strain I FF fusarium wilt strain I amp II N nematodes T tobacco mosaic virus and A alternaria br Tomato fruitworm eating unripe tomato br Another particularly dreaded disease is curly top carried by the beet leafhopper which interrupts the lifecycle ruining a nightshade plant as a crop As the name implies it has the symptom of making the top leaves of the plant wrinkle up and grow abnormally br Some common tomato pests are stink bu gs cutworms tomato hornworms and tobacco hornworms aphids cabbage loopers whiteflies tomato fruitworms flea beetles red spider mite slugs and Colorado potat

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