General Secondary School “Hristo Botev” - Aytos The tastiest tomatoes in the whole world Where do tomatoes originate from? Tomatoes originated from the Andes, in what is now called Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador - where they grew wild. They were first cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 AD. When did tomatoes first arrive in Europe? Tomatoes didn’t arrive in Europe until the 16th Century, although it is not known how. It has been said that they were brought back from Central America by Spanish Conquistadors. Another legend suggests that two Jesuit priests brought them to Italy from Mexico. Others say Columbus brought the first tomato to Europe. What were the first cultivated tomatoes like? The first cultivated tomatoes were yellow and cherry-sized, earning them the name golden apples. They were considered poisonous but appreciated for their beauty. What is the Latin name for the cultivated tomato? The Latin name for the cultivated tomato is Lycopersicon escutentum, which means edible wolf's peach, though no one is quite sure why wolf's peach. Soon after the tomato's arrival in Europe, it was also known as the Peruvian apple. Tomato output in 2005 What is being done to improve fruit quality in respect of flavour, texture, appearance and shelf-life? This is being achieved by the development of new varieties and fruit types, improved systems on handling fruit and grading after harvest, to allow fruit to ripen on the vine, and understanding more about the basic biology of plant growth and fruit development. Consumer research is being undertaken to define buying patterns and consumer expectations to ensure the industry meets the demands of today's market. Bulgarian vegetable research institutes: Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute – Plovdiv Plant Protection Institute – Kostinbrod Agrarian University – Plovdiv Institute of Genetics – Sofia Institute for Plant and Genetic Resources – Sadovo Dobrudzha Agricultural Institute - General Toshevo What is the level of Bulgarian tomato production per year? In 2009 tomato production is 205 000 tones / ½ of fresh vegetable production/ In 2011 the tomato production was 379 500 tones / open field produced – 123 400 tones, greenhouse production – 256 100 tones/. It is 40 % of fresh vegetable production in 2011. The area planted with tomatoes is 14 365, 5 How many tonnes of fresh tomatoes are consumed each year? At present the consumption is about 100 kg. per capita of fresh and processed products. Bulgaria's annual canned food production is about 150 000 tons per year while before 1994 it was about 1 million tons per year because of the economic crisis. What are the nutritional benefits of tomatoes? Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene and lycopene and flavonoids ( also found in red wine and tea). Tomatoes also contain potassium, calcium and other mineral salts. Potassium has been linked to lowering blood pressure and calcium is vital for healthy bones and teeth. Grilled tomatoes are high in Bulgarian varieties of tomato Sofia Maturity midseason Growth habit indetermined Leaf type regular Fruit color red Fruit shape round, oblate Fruit size medium Fruit type slicer, canner Indetermined, regular foliage, red, large oblate beefsteak fruit, up to 700 gr. Sweet flavor. Plovdivski Druzba Maturity midseason Growth habit indet. Leaf type regular Fruit color red Fruit shape round Fruit size medium Fruit type slicer, canner Cherven Eder – RedLarge Bulgarian Indetermined, regular foliage, orangy-red large oblate ffew seeds in proportion ruit, very pleasant flavor. Fleshy, juicy, to its size. Bivolsko Sertse - Bull’s Heart Maturity midseason Growth habit indet. Leaf type regular Fruit color red Fruit shape heart Fruit size medium Fruit type cooking, paste, slicer Large Pink Bulgarian Maturity midseason Growth habit indet. Leaf type regular Fruit color pink Fruit shape beefsteak Fruit size large Fruit type slicer Some facts about Bulgarian tomatoes production Bulgaria is a major supplier of grapes, apples, and tomatoes to Europe and the former Soviet Union. During the commercial 2009 the production of tomatoes was 104 000 tons. The export of fresh tomatoes in 2009 is 10 740 tons, which is approximately by 35% of the total export of fresh vegetables. The largest quantities are exported to Romania – 9 479 tons, Germany – 564 tons, Greece – 405 tons, etc. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This presentation reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Thanks for your attention!