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Tomato: Publications and Research from SwissMixIt

Tomato Botanical Information

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America. Despite botanically being a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable.

Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables their red color.

They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.Usually red when mature, tomatoes can also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple.

What’s more, many subspecies of tomatoes exist with different shapes and flavor. Cherry tomatoes and small yellow tomatoes have highest lycopene content. Cooking can increase lycopene availability (absorption).

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