Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #222960

Title: Bite-sized tomatoes

item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: Horticulture Industries Show
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Roberts, W., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Shrefler, J., Taylor, M. 2008. Bite-sized tomatoes. In: Proceedings of the 27th Annual Horticultural Industries Show. January 4-5, 2008, Tulsa, Oklahoma. p. 206-209.

Interpretive Summary: Students and administrators are increasingly interested in having a wider selection of fruits and vegetables at schools and universities. One program in Oklahoma, Farm to School, fosters interaction of growers and food service vendors to benefit both parties. As part of this program, small fruited tomatoes (cherry and grape types) were evaluated for their appeal (color, sweetness, size) and productivity under Oklahoma conditions. Of the 95 varieties planted, 20 varieties were found to be suitable in size, productivity, and sweetness; and 10 had good to excellent shelf life. Further studies using these varieties will be done in the next growing season.

Technical Abstract: Ninety-five tomato varieties were planted at Lane, OK in 2007 to determine what varieties were most suited for cherry and grape tomato production. Tomatoes were of red, brown, yellow, or orange fruit color and ranged in size from currant (1 g) to large cherry (30 g). Productivity was reduced due to high rainfall but twenty varieties were found to have good production and good fruit appearance (absence of cracking and even color). Tomato sweetness (soluble solids content) ranged from 4 to 8% among varieties. The lycopene content was 40 to 180 mg/kg in red tomatoes and 50 to 70 mg/kg in brown tomatoes. Four cherry and grape types were found to have good storage life at room temperature. Results show that small-fruited tomatoes may be a useful crop for small scale farm production and for their applicability in the Farm to School program in Oklahoma.