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Stand by for PURPLE KETCHUP as boffins breed SUPER TOMATOES

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You might find yourself banging out a blob of PURPLE ketchup onto your bacon sarnie in days come, as scientists report that they may soon have managed to create a type of heliotrope-hued super tomato, superior to the humble red variety known and loved today.

“Working with GM tomatoes that are different to normal fruit only by the addition of a specific compound allows us to pinpoint exactly how to breed in valuable traits,” explains Professor Cathie Martin from venerable British horticultural lab the John Innes Centre.

According to a JIC statement:

Martin and colleagues studied tomatoes enriched in anthocyanin, a natural pigment that confers high antioxidant capacity. The purple GM tomatoes have already been found to prolong the lives of cancer-prone mice and in the latest findings they also more double the normal shelf life of tomatoes from an average of 21 days to 48 days.

Not only will we no longer be knee-deep in pesky dead mice*, but the tasty purple toms will last longer in the fridge - and add a bit of visual variety to the salad bowl. There probably isn't enough purple food in our lives. It seems that the juicy lavender treats are also less prone to grey mould than regular reds.

Prof Martin and her fellow tomato-boffins' work is set to be published in the learned journal Current Biology. There's more here from the JIC. ®

*Just kidding, we know this is a way to see if the superfruit help to prevent cancer in people

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