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Why Scientists Want to Engineer Spicy Tomatoes

Really interesting article via Smithsonian

Capsaicinoids originate in the white pith of chilli peppers, which, unfortunately, are a rather finicky crop. They’re grown in open fields, leaving them susceptible to detrimental conditions like high precipitation and high temperatures, and their capsaicinoid levels can vary widely based on the environments in which they are cultivated. Peppers are also vulnerable to soil-borne diseases, and their seed germination can be quite slow. Contrast this with the hardy tomato, which is often grown indoors, has a high yield and is generally much easier to cultivate. Tomatoes, in other words, may offer a promising avenue for producing capsaicinoids at a commercial level.

Read more.



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