Purple Tomatoes Might Be Coming to Grocery Stores Soon

These bold purple tomatoes don't just look amazing, they also have incredible health benefits.

When it comes to cooking staples, we all love a good tomato. Whether it’s a healthy addition to a summer salad or the base to a delicious pasta sauce, tomatoes often make their way into some of our favorite recipes. Not only are tomatoes tasty, they also happen to be packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and plenty of other good stuff.

Soon, the fruit may debut at your local grocery store with a major makeover and double the health benefits.

Genetically modified purple tomatoes with a longer shelf life and tons of health benefits just received the stamp of approval from the USDA.

How Do Purple Tomatoes Get Their Color?

To get a vibrant purple hue, a group of scientists—led by Cathie Martin, a professor and biochemist—has genetically modified tomatoes to increase their level of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments rich in antioxidants that give fruits like plums and blueberries their signature color. Since domesticated tomatoes already have the genes to support anthocyanins, scientists carefully added genes from snapdragons to transform the tomatoes and turn them purple from the inside-out.

Your tomatoes could soon look like eggplants, grapes and all your other favorite purple foods.

What Are the Benefits of Purple Tomatoes?

This genetically modified fruit is packed with antioxidants. According to the Norfolk Plant Sciences, the presence of the antioxidants in the tomatoes provide the “best protection against disease.”

There are plenty of potential long-term benefits of turning tomatoes into a superfood, too. According to a study published in Nature Biotechnology, when the purple tomatoes were incorporated into the diet of cancer-prone mice, their lifespan was increased by a whopping 30%. We’re ready to add these purple tomatoes to our healthy tomato recipes ASAP.

When Can You Get Purple Tomatoes?

With the health benefits and unique appearance purple tomatoes have to offer, we’re excited to get our hands on this new fruit. However, the snack still has to earn FDA approval before ending up in our kitchens.

You can look forward to “limited distribution” of the purple tomatoes starting in 2023. For now, we’ll continue to try all the ways to cook red tomatoes.

Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan creates trend content for Taste of Home. When it comes to all things food news, she's an expert. Jessica has previously written lifestyle content for Reader’s Digest, Family Handyman and The Healthy. These days, she loves trying out the latest TikTok recipes and exploring New York eateries and coffee shops.