What do you get when you cross a tomato with a lemon basil plant?

A news report from FoodNavigator.com asks, “What do you get when you cross a tomato with a lemon basil plant?No, it’s not a joke. Researchers from Israel’s Newe Ya-ar research Centre were quite serious when they set out to genetically modify the flavour and aroma of tomatoes by expressing the ocimum basilicum geraniol synthase gene.

“The result, they report in Nature Biotechnology, is a fruit that smells a little like roses and lemons and was preferred by most of the untrained taste panelists to ordinary tomatoes,” says the article. “The finding could result in the development of new tomato-based flavours, and could also have implications for shelf-life. The transgetic tomatoes were found to have higher levels of volatile terpenoids that some say have antimicrobial and antifungal qualities.”

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