[Market-farming] Indterminate vs determinate tomatoes

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Tue May 13 10:06:24 EDT 2003


    That's one question you'll never get agreement on. People just don't
agree on taste in tomatoes.

    As to acid in tomatoes, one of our food scientists tested about 100
varieties of tomatoes for acid for canning a number of years ago. She found
that some orange/yellow varieties had enough acid for canning without
vinegar and some red varieties did not. It wasn't as easy as looking at
color. Most varieties had adequate acid, and most were hybrids. I remember
Jet Star was one that was red and needed vinegar to have proper acidity for
canning. By the way, Jet Star is an old Harris Seed variety. It was very
popular among market farmers in the 70's.

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center

>At our research farms last summer and again this year we have  trialed 110
heirloom and most every commercial determinate and canning type at two
locations in different soils and climates and some of us also have public
test plots at our farms. We have arranged public taste tests and have set up
a state funded department to promote and market the best tasting and
commercial viable tomatoes. So far the results are all over the place as to
which tomato tastes best. As far as I know our study is the largest attempt
to get to the bottom of all this stuff...Bob

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