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CSIR-NBRI research will increase shelf life of tomatoes

IANS | August 20, 2023 03:25 PM

LUCKNOW: The CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) in Lucknow has come up with research that might help control the prices of tomatoes in future.

The institute has tried to increase the ripening time of tomatoes with the help of transgenic change, increasing the storage and transportation time. The research was done by Anriruddha Sane, chief scientist of the Institute.

Sane said research can be helpful to an extent in controlling price rise of tomatoes, as we are able to increase the ripening time of the fruit and thus reduce the gap between its harvesting and reaching the market. If the produce ripens late, it can be stored for long. The transportation can be done to far off places and will not need warehouses for storage.

“Different species of tomatoes are grown across the country. After production, it takes one to three days to move them from one place to another, during which they are exposed to cold conditions. It is necessary to keep them in cool conditions, otherwise, they start ripening quickly, in such a situation, large quantities of tomatoes get spoiled before reaching the market. This research has been done to check this, ” said NBRI director Ajit Kumar Shasany.
Anirudh Sane said the research had been done on ‘Arkavikas’ and ‘Elsacrete’ varieties of tomatoes.

“We have tried to decrease the amount of abscisic acid present in tomatoes. The amount of enzyme was reduced by changing the genes of the tomato. The process is called transgenic change. The presence of abscisic acid in tomatoes is the reason why the tomatoes start ethylene formation that ripens them. Hence, ethylene formation is delayed by slowing down the abscisic acid. This would help slow down the ripening from five days to 10-15 days. This in turn would increase the storage and transportation time and also reduce wastage, ” explained Sane, whose research took 12 years.

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